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DIRECT MARKETING NEWS: Corporate Media Partners buys Thomson Local out of administration

The UK local business directory, Thomson Local, has been acquired by Corporate Media Partners after entering administration yesterday. Corporate Media Partners is a newly formed business led by Paul Spinks and Patrick Bradshaw whose existing group of companies include 118 Information and e-Location.

In recent years Thomson Local has focused on developing its own online directory and suite of internet advertising products in an attempt to stem the decline in the paper directory and move to a more online environment. 

Famous for his controversial character and what has been described as ‘ruthless’ business decisions, Paul Spinks commented on the acquisition:  “This is a hugely important addition to our existing suite of businesses, and we are excited by the challenge that this acquisition offers. To own such a brand as Thomson Local is hugely satisfying”

Patrick Bradshaw added:  “Thomson Local is a major brand in the UK which achieves instant recognition and we are excited by the prospect of delivering a range of relevant advertising, new media and information packages to today’s SME. We also believe that the Thomson Online Directory offering will be a useful resource from which a number of our larger licensing customers can benefit.”

This news illustrates the decline of direct mail, which played a fundamental role in B2B only five years ago.

Simon Lawrence, CEO, Uncommon Knowledge, said: “I think from an industry perspective Thomson data has been really integral to most of the business files that form the basis of what people use. All the major players have licensed it over the past few years so it is probably pretty well integrated into people’s day-to-day businesses.

“They are in the position to radically affect the supply into the market and directly hurt competition in a very serious way.

“However, they have done quite a good job with the 118 data and it might actually lead to improvements – it might bring some new data to the market.”