SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

Yellow Pages Association

Yellow Pages Association

September 14, 2010 10:46 ET

Yellow Pages Companies Announce Plan to Upgrade Consumer Choice Website

New Digital Hub to Offer Greater Flexibility and Choice in Phone Book Delivery

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ and TRAVERSE CITY, MI--(Marketwire - September 14, 2010) - Yellow Pages companies today announced plans to provide consumers with an updated, central site to manage the delivery of phone directories to their homes. This new tool, which will go live in early 2011, is being developed by the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) and the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) to make it faster and easier for consumers to select which phone directories they receive, or to stop delivery of all directories if they so choose.

When it launches, the portal will become the centerpiece of the industry's existing opt-out website at www.yellowpagesoptout.com. That site, launched in 2009, currently provides consumers information on how to participate in opt-out programs directly with individual publishers. The upgrade to a new digital hub will give consumers the ability to customize delivery right on www.yellowpagesoptout.com, rather than contacting each publisher in their area.

"We've always said that it doesn't make sense to deliver a directory to someone who doesn't want one," said Neg Norton, president, YPA. "The industry's current site was a giant leap in making it easier for consumers to participate in publishers' individual opt-out programs, but the 'clearinghouse' is the ultimate way to give consumers the choice we want them to have."

"Phone books remain an important tool for consumers searching for local information, and many people are glad to have a phone directory handy when they need one," said Larry Angove, president and CEO, Association of Directory Publishers. "But we don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to our business. Those consumers who want to receive fewer directories or feel they can do without a directory at all should have that option."

Easy Interface Gives Consumers Greater, Safer Choice

Giving consumers full control over delivery to their homes is a key element in the industry's consumer choice initiative. The revamped digital hub will include:

  • A simple mechanism so consumers can stop the delivery of just one, several, or all directories to their homes directly from the site.
  • An interface with front cover graphics and information on scheduled deliveries to make it easy for consumers to identify which directories to include in their request.
  • Email confirmation for participants of their selections.
  • Assurance that private information provided through the site will not be shared with anyone other than directory publishers for the purpose of updating distribution lists.

"In talking with consumers, we've found that many would like to receive at least one directory, so it's important that opting-out is not an all or nothing proposition," said Norton. "Through our site, consumers will be able to tailor directory delivery to their local search needs."

Launching a central clearinghouse is a significant industry effort that requires participation from more than 200 directory publishers around the country and technological integration with each so that opt-out requests are updated on a timely basis.

Providing Valuable & Sustainable Local Search Options

Research shows that approximately 8 out of 10 U.S. adults use print Yellow Pages to find local businesses and that the sales return on the investment for local display directory advertising is $15 to every $1 spent.

"We continue to print Yellow Pages directories because most people still want them to find local businesses," said Angove. "Even as Yellow Pages and local search companies have expanded their offerings to online and mobile platforms, many consumers still prefer the print directory as a source of trusted business information."

"We want to produce local search tools that are valuable for consumers, and in turn, profitable for our advertisers," said Norton. "But no matter what local search tools we provide, we need to make sure they are useful to consumers and produced in a sustainable manner."

Yellow Pages companies have made dramatic improvements with regards to sustainable phone book production, reducing the amount of directory paper used 29 percent since 20061. Directories today are printed on paper that is either recycled or made from leftover woodchips from the lumber industry so no new trees are necessary to make directory paper. Publishers have also turned to soy-based inks and have repaginated and redesigned their phone book layouts to minimize paper usage. Yellow Pages companies encourage consumers who chose to receive print directories to recycle them at the end of their useful life.

1Yellow Pages Association Sustainability Report, 2010

About The Yellow Pages Association
The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org and http://www.insideyp.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $27 billion worldwide ($12 billion in the U.S.). Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

About the Association of Directory Publishers
The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) (http://www.adp.org), founded in 1898, is the oldest trade association in North America representing the interests of directory publishers and the companies whose products and service support the industry.

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