It’s really amazing to see how out of touch the yellow pages industry is with the interests of the people they depend on taking their directories into their homes. For example, the YP industry’s own stats show that 15% of Americans did not use a phone book even once last year. That correlates to millions and millions of phone books being printed, shipped, delivered, thrown away or recycled with no value to anyone in that chain.
It seems like the industry, who isn’t exactly strong financially these days, would want to figure out a way to cut their printing, shipping, and delivery costs by 15% in order to help their bottom line (since they don’t seem to be swayed by more altruistic reasons). Well, you’d be wrong. Here’s where they stand, according to yellow pages industry analyst, Ken Clark:
The industry slipped by in 2008 with no significant legislation passed against its print book distribution practices. We won’t be so lucky in 2009.
You see, from the industry’s perspective:
– They were “lucky” to be able to ship their print spam products to people who didn’t want them.
– They were “lucky” to put unnecessary strain on local landfills and recycling centers.
– They were “lucky” to be able to pass along costs to local businesses who paid for the distribution of phone books that were never opened.
– They were “lucky” that consumers didn’t have a choice regarding what ends up on their doorstep.
– They were “lucky” that they were able to litter foreclosed homes with phone books.
People don’t decide to regulate industries just for the fun of it. It comes from dealing with industries who refuse to regulate themselves by behaving like good neighbors. An industry who’s still in a “were were lucky” phase is far from being ready to change on its own.