Sidewalk hits the highway

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Microsoft Corp., signaling a dramatic expansion of its local Web ad media, by the end of this year will expand its Sidewalk city guides to the top 50 markets and add editorial, listings and ads related to consumer products and services, such as electronics and home painting. Sidewalk, up in nine cities, till now focused on arts and entertainment. Sidewalk will allow consumers to shop for products, such as camcorders, comparing prices at local stores and online merchants; Microsoft will develop related editorial content and partner with others for content. Cendant Corp. will continue to handle ad sales. The move means more ad competition for newspapers, Yellow Pages, direct mail, local Web sites and other local media.

Copyright February 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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