Yahoo! starts Euro drive in bid for global control

American search engine service sets up localised European Websites to offer surfers both country-specific and worldwide directory information

Yahoo!, the US-based search engine service and one of the Internet’s top three advertising-supported sites, has signed up nine charter advertisers to support the launch of its localised UK and Ireland Website.

Gateway, People Bank, Tesco, TSB, BSkyB and BT Internet are among the first advertisers on the site, one of a growing number of localised Yahoo! services designed to maintain its position as a leading gateway to the rest of the Net.

Ralph Averbuck, producer of Yahoo! UK, says surfers using the site will find UK Web destinations pushed up to the top of the directory, making the site more friendly to those seeking information specific to the UK or Ireland.

Advertisers will be offered a range of options based on guaranteed impressions on the local site following the charter period, based on the global or targeted ad options offered by Yahoo! in the US.

The UK site, which launched on September 23, will be followed by local language Yahoo! sites in France and Germany this month in a joint venture with publisher Ziff-Davis. The European launches follow the development of similar local services covering Canada, Japan, and major US metropolitan areas.

Heather Killen, managing director of Yahoo! Europe, says: “We aim to be like the US TV networks, offering global and local opportunities in programme content and advertising. In that model, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s can get a network buy, but we can also offer Joe-Shmo in Idaho a local buy.

“For advertisers, localised sites do have appeal. In our relatively short history, we have found that when you put on a local site, you draw in more traffic.”

But Killen concedes that US-based rivals including Lycos are not far behind in seeking to extend their services. Lycos is already working with Bertelsmann in Europe to develop a German search engine site.

Improvements in other local directory and Net search services may also cut into potential Yahoo! traffic, she says. “But I would rather be competing from a position of strength in a buoyant market than be the king of a stony, lonely beach,” she adds.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here