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Yellow Pages – time to opt out?

Once essential, now dispensable. Is there a future for the venerable Yellow Pages?

Every year, the Yellow Pages get thinner and thinner. What was once a guaranteed money-spinner for Telecom, with businesses paying good coin to advertise within a fat directory of categorised landline listings and display advertising has been gutted by websites, social media and mobile phones.

Even the brilliant Yellow Pages slogan “Let your fingers do the walking” that became embedded in popular culture in the 1970s has been diffused in these times when we finger-walk on screens for just about everything.

As late as 2004, the Auckland Yellow Pages were so popular that they required two volumes – A-K and L-Z –  to get all the numbers in.

Those were different times.

This year, Wellington’s combined White and Yellow pages will again be thin. Not poetry book thin, but not airport thriller fat by a long shot either.

Kind of sad for a format that’s been going since 1883, when a printer in Wyoming ran out of white paper while working on a telephone directory and used yellow paper instead. The first official Yellow Pages directory was created three years later and a run of over 130 years for any global business model is pretty good, and probably has a little way to go just yet.

But, if last year’s book just sat in your shelf gathering dust for 12 months, maybe it’s time to take action to stop waste.

The combined White and Yellow Pages will soon be delivered to the Wellington area. And the company is asking you if you want to opt out from receiving these books at your residential address, by using this online form before 28 August:

Let your fingers do the talking.