The question is, why can€™t the big telco publishers participate in the revenue growth? If the U.S. Military Academy that trained Generals Grant and Lee can change to meet the needs of their country, surely telco publishers can change to get back on a growth path. Companion books, IYP, larger ad items, awareness products and an expansion effort by Verizon have all helped to stop the bleeding, but they do not seem to be the silver bullet. As is pointed out in GYP, €œMany of the larger publishers€™ efforts to drive core product growth are not sustainable long-term sources of growth.€ Digital services combined with outstanding operations and sales experience will help over the next few years to stabilize revenue, but eventually advertisers are going to follow consumers onto the Internet in an increasingly broadband world.
The fact is that the RBOCs don€™t see Yellow Pages as mission critical, the way incumbents like Dex and R.H. Donnelley do. That is their prerogative since we€™re certainly not dealing with national security.
"What is the Future of Yellow Pages€ will be discussed at The Kelsey Group€™s annual Directory Driven Commerce conference in Denver, September 27-29, 2005.