118 118 claims calls hike on back of Yell advertising

The Number 118 118 is claiming that the latest TV campaign from rival Yell has inadvertently helped to promote its service at the expense of Yell’s own 118 247 service.

The Number says it has seen a 3-5% increase in calls since Yell launched the campaign – which is the first work from new advertising agency Mother – in March (MW March 15). A spokesman for The Number adds: “It is the best campaign we never did.”

The Number claims that consumers do not realise the “People behind the numbers” campaign is advertising Yell’s directory enquiries service and says it has done a “generic job” of promoting 118 services. The Number believes it has reaped the greatest benefit because it is the market leader and the first company people associate with directory enquiries.

A Yell spokesman has hit back at The Number, pointing out that it has been running its own advertising campaign at the same time. He adds that it is “very pleased” with the campaign and says that it has seen a “very significant increase” in calls to 118 247 since its launch.

But The Number says it tracks the impact of its own advertising and has seen a 3-5% increase “over and above that” since the Yell campaign was launched.

Meanwhile, The Number has handed UK chief executive Mark Horgan overall responsibility for Europe in a senior management restructure. Marketing director Mark Evans has also been moved to the new role of product and services director. The Number’s new commercial director Martin Hall, who joined from Premier Foods earlier this year (MW April 26), will now have overall responsibility for marketing.

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