AT&T Begins Controlled Trial of Free Directory Assistance Service
1-800-YellowPages Service Gives Consumers Free Access to Local Business Contact Information, Provides Advertisers Opportunities to Reach Customers at Critical Moment
New Service to Strengthen AT&T’s Leading Position in Operator Services, Directory Assistance Industry
San Antonio, Texas, December 13, 2006 - AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today announced the trial of a new directory assistance service in Bakersfield, Calif.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Columbus, Ohio. With this new service, consumers will have free access to business listings and advertisers will be able to reach buyers at a critical moment in their purchasing decisions.
Through the service, callers will be able to request a listing for a specific business or for listings for a type or category of business from a landline or wireless phone. Callers will hear short audio ads relevant to their listing request before receiving the number or, possibly, being connected directly to the business they select. Residents of the three selected cities can access free listings beginning today by dialing 1-800-YellowPages (1-800-935-5697).
“Increasingly, our customers are calling directory assistance when they don’t have a phone book handy or can’t jump online,” said David Huntley, senior vice president of AT&T Diversified Businesses. “We’re developing AT&T 1-800-YellowPages to be the consumer’s audio Yellow Pages that gives them free access to local and nationwide business listing information from any phone, 24/7. At the same time, we want to help businesses reach consumers at a key moment — when consumers are in need of a service and are ready to make a purchasing decision. This trial period will allow us to later roll out a service that best meets our consumer and business customer needs.”
The trial gives local and national advertisers several options for reaching consumers:
* Category/Redirect Ad — When a caller asks for a specific category or type of business, such as “florist,” ads will be played for businesses within that industry, giving advertisers the chance to persuade callers who do not have a specific brand in mind to select their business. Or, when a caller requests a listing for a specific business, an ad for a competitor in that category may play, provided that the originally requested business is not a participating advertiser. The consumer selects which listing to receive.
* Requested Listing Ad — When a caller requests a listing for a specific business, an ad for that business is played before the number is given, providing businesses an opportunity to promote specific offers and services.
* Sponsorship Ad — Announces to the caller that the advertiser’s company is sponsoring the call and plays an ad promoting their products or services. Advertisers may use this type of ad to encourage a call to their own business at a later time.
The trial of AT&T 1-800-YellowPages bolsters AT&T’s industry-leading portfolio of services providing local and nationwide business information to consumers and advertising solutions to national and small businesses. In addition to offering a premier, caller-paid directory assistance service, AT&T owns the world’s largest print Yellow Pages publisher in terms of revenue and, through its YELLOWPAGES.COM joint venture with BellSouth, operates a leading Internet Yellow Pages Network.
Local and national businesses in Bakersfield, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; and Oklahoma City, Okla. interested in advertising can call (800) 411-9675.
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AT&T Inc. is one of the world’s largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with 58.7 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at http://www.att.com.
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