Yellow & White make… green?

A commercial and residential phone book were walking past a haunted house when they hear a terrifying scream.

Commercial phone book: “Did you hear that?  It came from the haunted house!”

Residential phone book:  “We need to go in and investigate.”

Commercial phone book: “No way man.”

Residential phone book:  “What’s the matter?  You yellow?”

Ok, sorry for the silly joke.  What’s even sillier is the huge stacks of phone books delivered to my condo building every year.  I live in a rather large development so there are enough phone books in the mail room to easily fill 2 pallets.  These phone books sit idle, wrapped in plastic, hoping for someone take them home.  Week after week these things sit there untouched.  The only time I was tempted to pick one up was when I needed paper to ignite my charcoal chimney (that’s right folks, real men bbq with coals, not gas).

Well it looks like this nuisance is coming to an end.  At the end of 2010, Verizon Communications received permission from New York, Pennsylvania and Florida (with Virginia pending) to stop distributing phone books.  This is a milestone that is far overdue.  I don’t remember the last time I heard anyone say “check the phone book” when they needed a phone number.  Nowadays, all you hear is “Google it” or “check Bing.”  When you need to find someone or something, you can find it much faster online and get more information than you would in a phone book.  (Don’t believe me?  Go to and search for your own name.)  On top of that, phone books only record information in your local area while the internet provides access to people around the world.    The bottom line is very few people depend on the yellow or white pages so I fully expect to see this trend continue.   My only question is:  What took so long?

We’re seeing a similar shift in newsprint.  Advertising in phone books and newspapers are down as these companies try to figure out how to monetize their online assets.  Advertisers are shifting their budgets online.  Newsprint and phone books need ad revenue to survive so we’ll see how they continue to evolve.

My favorite benefit of eliminating the yellow and white?  We’re going more green.

– Michael

Nett Solutions is a SEM agency working with Yahoo! and Google. We are a SoCal based company built of an eclectic cornucopia of: marketers, mothers & fathers, husbands & wives, college grads & MBA’s, surfers, church-goers, athletes, comedians (and those who think they are comedians). Our common bond is that we like to help people succeed.

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