Please Stop Delivering The Phone Book To My House

17 Jul

The traditional Yellow Pages companies depend on the number of books distributed to charge their advertisers the maximum possible. As such, it creates an (obvious) incentive to keep distribution numbers as high as possible.

It has been quite common to talk about the real distribution number vs stated number – it is a very common scene to see stacks of unused YP books. By the dozens. Everywhere.

So I had a hearty laugh when I saw that this very complaint was on the frontpage of Reddit. While we can all agree that Reddit is far more tech-oriented than the average user, it still underlines how people have moved en-masse from the yellow pages to online. And in most cases, these tech-users (early

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adopters) set the tone for the future – be it from video games to computers to the internet, these people are a harbringer of the future.

There has been other anecdotal evidence that the YP companies are not lowering their ad rates. So – with (obvious) declining readership (ie, actual users) – when will ad rates reconcile with true distribution?

The YP companies are basically playing with a poker face – the moment any of them break down and start lowering rates / revising distribution numbers, the rest will be dragged along, kicking and screaming. Alas, none of them have had the guts (yet) to accept reality.

4 Responses to Please Stop Delivering The Phone Book To My House



July 17th, 2007 at 3:37 pm

“Please Stop Delivering The Phone Book To My House”

Ameen to that brother! The only time I touch the phone book is to transport it from my doorstep to the recycle bin. :-)



July 17th, 2007 at 4:19 pm

For the exact reason newspapers mass mail everybody those “valuepak inserts” from local stores. They then claim high circulation numbers to the advertisers who they sell to. Distribution stays high so ad rates stay high – otherwise a big chunk of revenue from those monolithic dinosaur industries evaporates…

… and most likely will surface in online advertising alternatives.



July 17th, 2007 at 4:52 pm

Yeah the offline world has some of the most byzantine methods in extracting #s – from Nielson ratings to yellowpages/newspaper distribution #s, the inflation is quite stunning.

And the amount of whining that goes into online stats makes it even more stunning :)



November 7th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for the post.

You can also sign do not mail petition (like Do Not Call National Petition)

I did some search online and this is the best resource so far available online (correct me if I am wrong). I have done this 5 months ago and my mailbox is literally empty ( I have paperless billing and also opted out from various mail lists) I check my mail twice a month now. It is beautiful.

I even took the letter from samples provided and wrote it to a local Chinese restaurant that keeps putting fliers in my door. They stopped too in the whole subdivision.

I even opted out from the yellow book. What do I need it for, since the internet is right here.