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How Yellow Pages Can Stop Wasting Money from Businesses and Save Trees

Mar 12th 2009

yellow pages spam

When I came home last night, there were two Yellow Pages phone books at my door. Like all the others, they ended up in the trash bin.

Who is using phone books nowadays? Not many for sure.

yellow pages trendYet, businesses are paying several millions of dollars to display their ads. Money is being wasted; trees are being wasted.

If At&t, Verizon, and YellowBook were to conduct ethical business, they could send a postcard instead of the phone books. The postcard would ask for the permission to send out the phones books. Suddenly, we are collectively saving trees.

Then, At&t, Verizon and YellowBook sales representatives would present to business owners the real number of persons willing to receive the phone books. Suddenly, money is not being wasted and the lies stop.

The ethical move is unlikely to happen… Well, the Yellow Pages phone books might just simply disappear.


[poll id=”3l”]


I have been researching how I can opt out automatic deliveries of phone books:

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8 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    A question about the graph you show as justification of your conclusions.

    First, you ask and answer the question, “Who is using phone books nowadays? Not many for sure.” and then show a chart of google lookups of the term “yellowpages”.

    What is your proof of any correlation between online lookups of the term “yellowpages” and use of printed phone books?

    Second, if there is any relevance to that chart, the most current level is about the same as in 2004. How does that correlate to the accusation of “stealing” in your headline?

  2. Vinh Nguyen says:

    @Tim In this post I expressed my opinion of what I consider as a non-efficient method of advertising. YellowPages phone books were certainly very useful in the past. However, with online resources, advertising in this medium is becoming a waste of resources.
    #1: The graph was generated with Google Trends which shows the number of searches on “YellowPages” over time. I use Google Trend to show a probable downward trend. You might read this post with more detailed information: – Is this a scientific method? Probably not.
    #2 : The trend is downward even after YellowPages recent TV advertising campaigns. The Internet will take over the phone books at term. If YellowPages can disclose the number of people who is really using the phone books when selling their ad placements, I would agree the terms “stealing” and “lies” would be irrelevant and inappropriate.

  3. Vinh Nguyen says:

    I have updated the title of this post because the word “stealing” is an unfounded claim that might hurt Yellow Pages image.

  4. Matt says:

    Vinh Nguyen,

    Although you may not use the phone book, multi milions of consumers do on an everyday basis. The reason why business owners spend billions upon billions of dollars in yellow pages is becuase we can provide tracking information to them that justifies their investment with yellowpages. Un educated idiots like yourself actually hurt business owners by your comments online because they know advertising in yellow pages is vital to their business survival. Internet is becoming more and more popular as far as a local search option to research goods and services but the Wall Street journal did a study recently showing that 65% of the population still references the yellowpages for goods and services, “GOOGLE”it!

  5. Vinh Nguyen says:

    @ Matt,

    Being “Un educated idots” does not refrain me to think print Yellow Pages advertising represents a waste of resources. If “65% of the population still references the yellowpages for goods and services”, then stop sending the books to the other 35% and pass on the savings by lower the cost of ad placements by 35%. Please.

  6. Tom says:

    Your post seems rather unfounded. You claim that trees are being destroyed and businesses waisting their money on display ads. Yet, your poll shows that 80% have used the yellowpages 10 times or more? Additionally, if you research the yellow page industry they use mill scrap for their rag print. Meaning, they are using the left over saw dust and scrap wood from mills to produce the paper in which they print their yellow page directories. Therefore, there are no trees being destroyed for the sake of the yellow pages.

    Now, if you dont like the yellow pages or any directory being delivered you might wish to contact your federal representatives as there was a law passed early on in the 1900’s that made it a federal requirement for telephone companies to produce and provide a telephone directory to residential/business customers. Can you blame the telco’s for wanting to make a profit and provide a service to businesses to reach an audience? And since you want to boast about waisting…if you dont want your phone book recycle rather than tossing it in to the trash bin. That way you granola’s can save your environment. Have a great day.

  7. Vinh Nguyen says:

    As a consumer, it seems to be obvious that throwing a phone book directly to trash is a waste that includes the cost for business patrons, the cost of paper, the cost of ink, the cost of transport, the cost of recycling. This post shows an alternate way to reduce this waste. Now I understand that Yellow Pages people (Tim, Matt, from the IP addresses, and probably Tom) are not agreeing with this point of view which is fine. I wish all the best to Yellow Pages phone book to bringing EFFECTIVELY clients to businesses. They are the one who are paying for everything!

  8. Sendil says:

    Hi… i saw one Business Listing Directory this web site is easy way to submitting our bussiness and article Submission it is very helpful to all……. thank u….

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