Last November I wrote a blog post titled Stop leaving me phone books. In it I explained that I haven’t had a home phone in (5) years, yet I continue to get phone books. My friend Alli pointed me to a site that was supposed to stop the madness… but one year later I came home to two phone books sitting on my porch. Why would the phone company continue to deliver expensive phone books to me? One reason. Advertising dollars.

Phone Book Circulation is Crap


Credit : funkeemunkeeland

The phone company sells advertising to local businesses largely based on the circulation of phone books. The problem is that nobody with a computer has a use for phone books anymore. The Internet has replaced the need for these prehistoric landfill-busting monsters. I can’t remember the last time that I even opened a phone book, yet my two phone books are being represented to advertisers as market reach. Both books went straight into the recycling bin, what a waste of money and natural resources.

If you are a local business do yourself a favor and invest in online marketing. The more savvy you become now the more effective your efforts will be in the future. It won’t be long until these dinosaurs are extinct.

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy is an American entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of IZEA, a technology company that provides software for influencer marketing.


  • Jamie Kite says:

    Well put. My community has a shared mailbox area that is currently littered with phonebooks nobody picked up yet. And because recycling is too expensive to offer, they’ll end up going straight to the landfill. Lame.

  • Casey Jenks says:

    Agreed. My dad owns a window tinting business in Naples, and it took way more time than it should have convincing him that he should shift ad dollars from the phone book into some PPC.

  • Ted,

    I def agree with you! I actually posted on this topic last week and a whole slew of YellowBook employees got a little bit angry at me on my comments section…so beware…they’re out for blood 😉 Hehe…

    You can check it out at if you’re interested!

  • Ted Murphy says:

    @Nicole VanScoten:
    Tell the yellowbook employees to bring it : )

  • Hi Ted,

    Full disclosure — I work for Idearc Media, publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages and home to

    First off, for you and your readers the best way to opt out of receiving the yellow pages is to visit Also, our company is working on better ways to distribute the Verizon Yellow Pages that I’m sure you will appreciate, view our recent announcement here We don’t want to send a service to consumers who don’t want it.

    I could not agree with you more that traditional yellow pages are dying. But at Idearc, our media consultants develop marketing campaigns that fit each client best and that could be to advertise on, our SuperpagesDirect Direct Mail products and, when it is appropriate, our yellow pages. We also have services to help businesses build their online presence with search engine marketing campaigns, PPC advertising, web site building and hosting, etc.

    Fact is, there is still a need for the yellow pages. Unfortunately, for years the YP industry was focused on defending their product instead of differentiating it.

    We recently introduced the SuperGuarantee ( program available in all our products. When a consumer hires a painter, auto mechanic, contractor, plumber or other service provider that is part of our program, we will stand by the work. If there is a problem, we will step in and make it right. If we can’t, we will cut a check for up to $500 to the consumer. The program is free to both the consumer and eligible client.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
    Lisa Vilfordi

  • Ted Murphy says:

    @Lisa Vilfordi:
    Lisa, thank you for commenting. I may not like phone books but I like the way you responded to my concerns 🙂

  • Rob says:

    What is a phone book? LOL. As soon as I get them on my front step they go right into the recycle bin. I agree they seem like a waste but maybe someone is getting good use from them. Doubt it. 🙂

  • Alli says:

    I’m a bit disappointed you still got your phone book. It worked for us. I even saw the delivery people skip my house! (Being a SAHM has perks.)

  • My husband was just telling me how his uncle spent thousands of dollars on some new yellow page ads and I just cringed inside!! I knew, though – that my breath would be wasted trying to explain how I felt about that – so I just let it go….

  • Mike Stewart says:

    @Lisa Vilfordi:

    Thanks for finally admitting that “traditional yellow pages is dying”…… why don’t you find a real solution to saturation distribution?

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