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My 2 Sense

Yellow Pages

A Pointless Publication

Without Prejudice - February 15, 2012
Yellow Pages It's that time of year again when the Yellow Pages shows up on your doorstep whether you want it or not. I mean REALLY, who even uses the Yellow Pages anymore? Or the whitepages for that matter? The internet has been around long enough to make the Yellow Pages book absolutely pointless.

Every business of any size has a website, and if not, is listed in dozens of business directories. You can Google any business or individual for that matter and get their phone numbers, addresses or use reverse phone number lookups.

And yet, every spring, the Yellow Pages finds itself parked on your doorstep, and every fall the White Pages joins it.

The number of trees that had to lay their lives down to make these books is astounding and for what viable reason? A few folks over the age of 90 who aren't computer literate? And the content - not one story or article...every page is advertising! The nerve of those people.

But lets go back in time, back to the days when Adam and Eve cavorted with dinosaurs and the Yellow Pages and White Pages were the only game in town. THEN, the publication had a purpose. Actually it had two purposes. The first one was to provide you and I with the addresses and phone numbers of every household and business in our city.

Its second purpose was to hose advertisers in an unconscionable way. Seriously, Yellow Pages is the worse advertising rip-off in history. Anyone who is in the advertising field knows this, but there is a very large building in Burnaby paid for by all the poor retail schmucks who don't. There are comparative advertising seminars out there that show that of all the forms of advertising, the Yellow Pages is the least cost effective, after newspapers, radio, TV, buscards, transit ads etal.

The most brilliant thing about Yellow Pages ads from THEIR standpoint is that it provides the company with a recurring premium. The poor advertiser pays every month to be in the publication, and can't get out of the deal but once a year. Taxi companies and pizza joints pay tens of thousands of dollars annually for those full page full colour display ads. And you know what? Anything over 1/4 page is a waste of money, and studies have shown that colour does not increase the effectiveness of the ad. But when your competition is blowing his brains out with huge ads for his deep dish pizza, how can you avoid it? In the olden days you had to be there, but a simple text message, maybe in bold would do the trick.

Anyway, if you look at the photo above, you'll see the stack of yellow pages dumped inside my condo. Only one of the sixteen books has been taken and the rest just sit there. I'm not sure how they even got in the gate. Does Yellow Pages have a key? Did they simply throw them over the fence? Did they seduce some poor resident owner or bribe the post man?

For years, when I owned a house I'd phone Telus and ask them to stop delivering the books to me, and they'd say, "We're not Yellow Pages, that is a separate company." Well, its been called Yellow Pages, then Dominion Directory and back and forth but it always has a Telus logo on it. Go figure. So I'd phone the big building in Burnaby and beg to not receive the books, but bless their little hard to hear hearts...every year those white and yellow tomes would reappear like perennials at Butchart Gardens.

The photo above shows the 16 books left by our condo mailboxes. How they got entry into our building is beyond me. Maybe they use the Telus key. But notice how only one book has been taken. That should be a good indicator that no one WANTS the damn books.

Just my opinion,

Courtney Smith
Click to read another story about Telus