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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

U-T Takes on Craigslist With Free Classifieds


San Diego Union-Tribune

recently started running free three-line advertisements in its classified section to try to bolster readership and gain a competitive edge on rivals, such as craigslist.com, the popular online marketplace that offers free classified ads.

The free ads, which began Sept. 9, appear for seven days in the daily newspaper’s revamped classified section, which is now called sdmarketplace, and online at the newspaper’s Web site, signonsandiego.com.

People wanting to sell merchandise, such as cars, boats, or pets for less than $5,000 can place the free ad.

“The Union-Tribune is offering free classified ads as an added benefit for consumers and to attract new buyers and sellers to sdmarketplace, our recently revamped classified product,” said Drew Schlosberg, a Union-Tribune spokesman. “Free classified ads for individuals are also expected to grow readership of the newspaper.”

Schlosberg said selling merchandise under $5,000 accounts for less than 5 percent of the newspaper’s classified ad revenue.

He declined to share specific details of the newspaper’s revenue goal.

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Cityscape Program:

San Diegans wondering what it’s like in and around San Diego City Hall will be able to get a close-up view.

The city of San Diego’s public and media affairs office announced Sept. 14 that it is launching a new television show titled “Cityscape,” which gives viewers an inside look at city services.

The 30-minute show will air every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on CityTV 24, with occasional broadcasts on the weekends.

Every month will be a different show.

This month’s program highlights the city’s utility undergrounding program, the San Diego Fire Department’s new helicopter, and gives a profile of Deputy Mayor Toni Atkins.

Next month’s theme will be on domestic violence and disabilities with October being the “Domestic Violence Awareness and Disability Awareness Month,” the city said.

Gina Lew, director for the city’s public and media affairs, said the city “wanted a venue to get messages and information on city programs and services to the public.”

The show is produced with city staff members and employees. Lew couldn’t say how much it cost to produce the show.

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New Look:

Typically, Carlsbad-based public relations and marketing firm SZPR, Inc. specializes in giving clients an identity.

But during the summer, the agency sought the help of another local firm, San Diego-based graphic design studio Studio 2055, to freshen its own look.

The two firms joined forces to create a new logo, business cards, collateral materials and a new Web site for SZPR.

What’s behind the makeover?

“We’ve been growing and we really wanted something that was more representative of the creative ideas we have become known for,” said SZPR President Sarah Znerold.

The two agencies have collaborated on several projects, including BRAVO San Diego, a fund-raiser for San Diego’s performing arts community.

The new logo sports a fresh, squeezable piece of citrus fruit with an edgy design and neon print. Three-year-old SZPR has 10 people working on 20 accounts in Carlsbad and offices in Hawaii and Boston, Znerold said.

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Geary’s Luck:

Geary Interactive, an online advertising agency in San Diego, said it landed Henry Brent Co./Resort Gaming Group to provide Web site development and online marketing for Lady Luck, a gaming operation, casino and hotel.

Under new ownership by Henry Brent Co., the Lady Luck Casino and Hotel is in downtown Las Vegas.

Geary didn’t disclose financial terms of the agreement.

Geary Interactive, which has offices in San Diego and Las Vegas, has 44 employees and 105 clients, including hotel and casino owners nationwide.

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Castle Advertising Moves Into Historic Building:

Castle Advertising, which has been operating in San Diego since 1982, announced it moved from Downtown San Diego into an 8,500-square-foot historic building in the Golden Hill area.

The new address is 2470 E St., San Diego.

The move reflects the firm’s growth from five employees with $2 million in billings in 1993 to now more than 20 people and about $20 million in billings, the firm said last month.

Send media and marketing news items to Marion Webb at marionw@sdbj.com or call her at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3108.


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