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U.S. independent publisher Yellow Book announced a distribution and co-branding deal with Cox Communications in which Yellow Book directories in key Cox markets will carry Cox branding and information on Cox products and services in the front of book. The deal currently involves Yellow Book directories in Providence, R.I., Pensacola, Fla., and Oklahoma City, Okla., but may be extended to other Cox markets in the future. Cox has 6.2 million residential and commercial customers.

“Cox is recognized as a trusted provider of phone services, and Yellow Book is the oldest and largest independent Yellow Pages publisher in the nation — a winning combination to deliver a resource for finding local businesses,” Kristine Faulkner, Cox Business vice president of product development and management, said in a statement. “Cox Business now provides additional value to its voice, data and video customers by equipping them with a powerful way to attract and retain clients.”

This agreement has a simple logic for both companies. Cox, as a competitive telephony provider, benefits from an affiliation with a Yellow Pages publisher. Yellow Book gains a boost to possession and usage of its products through its affiliation with the Cox brand. This deal also helps blur some of the independent-incumbent distinctions, as markets become increasingly competitive in both Yellow Pages and telephony.

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  1. I wonder if the inclusion of Cox branding items in Yellow Book only appears for directories delivered to Cox customers.
    It seems that it would almost alienate users of other providers such as Bellsouth and the host of local teleco’s in those areas. What message does this send to recipients of the directory who do not use Cox services? Would they assume it was a directory for Cox customers only, with less value to patrons of other providers? I understand that the deal is intended to give YB the appearance of being a telco supported product, but at the same time it takes away from their “independent” posture.

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