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Local search engine TrueLocal, which provides enhanced listing info for franchisees and brands, is trying out direct sales via a five-person call center. According to Founder Jake Bailes, the call center will target specific verticals, market-by-market (i.e., tire stores in Tampa).

Bailes concedes that setting up a local sales channel has turned out to be a real challenge but thinks the new approach will bear some fruit. Advertisers already using TrueLocal via third-party sales number in the "thousands." The average advertiser brings in $12 per month.

In addition to extending U.S. sales, TrueLocal, which is based in Toronto, is launching Canadian operations. "The competitive landscape is much narrower than in the U.S.," he says, "but there is also a clear leader YPG." A complete LocalOnliner profile on TrueLocal from April 2006 is available here.

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