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According to Amy Healy of the YPA, the public policy committee covered this topic in its Las Vegas meeting. She said that there are towns that have "do not deliver" proposals pending, but they stemmed from an effort to reduce litter. "This is the first one to our knowledge that stems from an unsolicited advertising perspective," according to Ms. Healy.

Do not call and do not spam lists are entirely different because they serve an infinite universe. An advertiser who buys a quarter-page ad in a local directory is expecting to reach the people in the community. He is half the equation of bringing buyers and sellers together. This is not a solicitation like you'd receive from a telemarketer, a spammer or even a direct marketer. Yellow Pages serves merchants who are the heart of the business community and consumers with businesses that are looking for the valuable products and services they sell.

We urge the industry to fight this camel's nose that has snuck under the tent.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. In situations like apartment buildings Yellow Pages are delivered and not picked up. Young people don't subscribe to newspapers because they don't want the papers sitting around. This kind of ordinance suggests the local govt doesn't see yellow pages as relevant or central to the life of the community as you say.

  2. So if I don't want TV ads, I should call my town officials and tell them not to allow the cable company to force their ads on me? I don't think it is very practical, and I don't think advertisers who are subsidizing programming would be happy that only part of their audience is seeing their ads.

    Yellow Pages is a profitable business, but someone has to pay to collect residential and business information. Again, YP ads are not like telemarketing or direct mail because they go to the local community only.

  3. The core issue here is that Yellow Pages are lumped together with all unsolicited advertising. That's simply an unfair generalization.

    However, I have no doubt that there are members of that community who would prefer not to receive the Yellow Pages because they use the internet exclusively. The township could simply make telephone directories an option that residents could "opt out".

    It raises the central issue of allowing consumers the same protection against solicitation that is provided by the National Do Not Call list.

    I believe that printed telephone directories provide a service that is unmatched online. However, that is simply my personal opinion and it needn't be forced upon the population as a whole. If they want out, let 'em opt out.

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