Mel Bohse told ZDNet Australia the company "does not enter into price wars" amid reports Sensis plans to charge advertisers a "pay per performance" rate of AU8 cents/click-through for a paid ad retrieved in a keyword search -- less than Overture, which charges AU10 cents/click and Google, which charges AU9 cents/click.
Sensis plans to brief analysts and launch its Sensis.com.au search engine tomorrow.
Bohse delivered her own less than complimentary assessment of the product, saying she was less than successful after typing "florist" into the keyword listing and "Paddington" into the locality guide.
"I can only say try the product," said Bohse adding that her experience with the search engine was "annoying" as it did not deliver the results she asked for.
"I hope that wasn't the end product that I tried," she said.
Sensis kicked off an AU$10 million advertising campaign to promote its search engine last month. The Sensis product brings together a variety of other information services including the White and Yellow Pages, Whereis.com and the Trading Post.
Bohse said she is "delighted" with Sensis' new ad campaign as it is "priming the market" for Overture's search engine product, LocalMatch, due for release in Australia later this year.
"They are getting the advertisers to understand how effective it can be and then we can just go in and say you've been using this product, now have a look at what ours can do for you," she said. "We can go into an educated market without spending any money."
LocalMatch was released in the US two weeks ago and is reported to be one of the first online search engines to provide a local listings guide.
Overture provides premium (or paid) business listings to well known sites such as NineMSN, F2 Network, Alta Vista and its owner, Yahoo. The seven year old company boasts it has access to 85 percent of "all Internet eyeballs".
Bohse said Sensis is also a customer of Yahoo.
"They are our competitor and our customer as well," she said. "Sensis is not a tech company, we are."