Professional Jeweler Archive: Heavy Traffic on the Yellow Brick Road

October 2000

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Heavy Traffic on the Yellow Brick Road

But print Yellow Pages are still more important than online versions


The old-fashioned Yellow Pages remain such a powerful advertising tool that jewelers who abandon them for Web-based versions can not only lose sales but also appear too hip for many consumers.

Plus, the number of fingers walking through the Yellow Pages remains a veritable stampede compared with what’s going on with online versions.

Yellow Pages advertising grew 5.5% to $12.65 billion in 1999, says Universal McCann, the media unit of McCann-Erickson, New York City. Of this, only 11%, or just under $100 million, was spent on Internet Yellow Pages ads. Still, the online versions are growing rapidly; Internet Yellow Pages advertising grew about 75% in 1999, according to the Yellow Pages Publisher Association.

Yellow Pages directories, distributed with phone books, are produced by regional telephone companies and several independent publishers. Producers of print and online Yellow Pages are often the same entities. BellSouth, for instance, produces RealPages.com. And Yellow Book USA actually calls its thick print version Yellowbook.com.

“Print Yellow Pages are holding their own,” Herb Gordon, president/CEO of the Association of Directory Marketing, told The Wall Street Journal.

One reason print Yellow Pages continue to thrive is that many local businesses still don’t do business online. Nor do many consumers. “It’s still much easier to open up your printed Yellow Pages than to turn on your computer,” says Jim Treacy, chief operating officer of TMP Worldwide, an agent for national Yellow Pages advertising.

– by Mark E. Dixon

1999 Ad Spending
$100 million
$12.65 billion
Online
Yellow Pages
Print
Yellow Pages

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications