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September 7, 2017

The bell tolls for Yellow Pages, which is publishing its last print books

by John_A

Why it matters to you

After more than five decades, the Yellow Pages won’t be showing up at your doorstep in the near future.

The internet has claimed its latest victim. Don’t worry, it’s not the collective mind of our progeny (though that might be at risk as well), but rather the venerable Yellow Pages, that guidebook that you once thought you couldn’t live without. Alas, the rise of the web and the digitization of information has proven that nothing is forever — not even giant books.

At the beginning of September, Yell, the company behind the Yellow Pages, announced it would carry out the final print cycle of its nostalgic reference books. From now on, the company is going digital. The first of the last 104 editions will be distributed in Kingston, England, in January and the last edition will make its rounds in January 2019 in Brighton, England. Fittingly, this is also where the first Yellow Pages were distributed.

Initially published in 1966, those familiar yellow pages have spent more than five decades as a key information source for customers looking for local businesses. But now, denizens of the internet are looking increasingly to Facebook pages and Yelp reviews to find new hot spots.

Still, it would appear that Yell is taking everything in stride. As CEO Richard Hanscott noted in a statement, ‘‘After 51 years in production Yellow Pages is a household name and we’re proud to say that we still have customers who’ve been with us from the very first Yellow Pages edition in 1966. How many brands can say they’ve had customers with them for over 50 years?”

But don’t worry — just because Yell won’t be publishing books anymore doesn’t mean it’s going away. Rather, it’s just going to where the businesses are — online. Yell launched a new pledge to help a million businesses be found, chosen, and trusted by more customers online in the next three years.

As Hanscott concluded, ‘’We’re proud of the transformation we’ve made from print to digital.  Like many businesses, Yell has found that succeeding in digital demands constant change and innovation. We’re well placed to continue to help local businesses and consumers be successful online, both now and in the future.’’

At the very least, you can stop feeling guilty about throwing away all that paper at the end of every year.

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