Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge. Classified advertisements are much cheaper than larger display advertisements used by businesses, although display advertising is more widespread. According to William A. Cohen, classified ads will bring "a greater return on your investment", dollar for dollar, than investments in display advertising, direct mail, or other media.
Advertisements in a newspaper are typically short, as they are charged for by the line, and are one newspaper column wide.
Publications printing news or other information often have sections of classified advertisements; there are also publications that contain only advertisements. The advertisements are grouped into categories or classes such as "for sale—telephones", "wanted—kitchen appliances", and "services—plumbing", hence the term "classified". Classified ads generally fall into two types: individuals advertising sales of their personal goods, and advertisements by local businesses. Some businesses use classified ads to hire new employees.