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28 July 2012

No more free listings in the Thomson Local Directory business categories

It appears that Thomson Local have changed their advertising structure this year. I’ve just received my local 2012-13 directory which covers a wide area taking in several towns and villages. A quick look inside the new directory reveals that Thomson Local have removed most of the entries from the front section of the book, the one where all businesses are listed in categories, eg solicitors, accountants, plumbers and the like. The only businesses now appearing in this "business by type" section are the ones that have paid for an advert (apart from some community entries such as schools and churches) unlike last year when most businesses in the local area were listed in amongst the paid/advert ones. And so there was trust, trust that you could make an informed choice from a list of business services, and trust that there was a real selection. Not just a choice from a bunch of paid listings.

When someone now picks up the Thomson Local to look inside the first thing they might notice is the lack of local businesses mentioned in the front section. Is it really believable that there only two accountants in this vast area, only one joiner and carpenter, only one hairdresser and so on and so on. Most people are going to glance inside the directory, not find what they are looking for and bin it especially as you need +3 reading glasses to go anywhere near it. It used to be a great directory, sadly no longer.

Not a great business plan for continued survival Thomson Local.

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