Here’s a slide from a Yellow Pages industry presentation called “Dealing with the Opt-Out Movement(pdf).” Apparently, it’s a scary thing for the Yellow Pages Association that people are starting to wake up and say, “I want to stop delivery of phone books to my home.”
The presentation includes a breakdown of recent state efforts to create opt-out (or, preferably, opt-in) policies.
As we see below, they boast proudly of their success with blocking people from having the right to say “NO” to phone books here in Minnesota:
Legislation in Washington attempted to make it mandatory for phone book companies to print opt-out instructions on the cover:
To me, that sounds like pro-consumer AND pro-business legislation since it would distill phone book delivery down to only those who actually want them. The exact people phone book advertisers (local businesses) are trying to reach.
Hawaii tried to take the approach I’ve been evangelizing: Make phone books opt-in so people have to request to receive them. This would much more efficiently distill delivery down to those who want the directories.
Unfortunately, proud lobbying efforts by the Yellow Pages industry against the interests of local consumers and local business owners managed to kill these bills mentioned above.