In Search Of Respect: The Yellow Pages

Bill Duggan
Association of National Advertisers

'I don't get no respect' is the signature line that helped make Rodney Dangerfield famous. The yellow pages are the Rodney Dangerfield of the media world as they are a medium that doesn't get enough respect from national advertisers, despite their unique advantages.

Yellow pages advertising is big business, representing $13.9 billion in advertising spending in 2003 (per Robert Coen, Universal McCann).

But yellow pages are primarily a local medium and are largely ignored by national advertisers. In fact, while national advertisers spent over $2.1 billion on yellow pages advertising in 2003, those dollars represent only about 15 percent of all yellow pages spending. Meanwhile, most of this national spending comes from dealers, franchisees, and regional sales offices of national companies. So the true 'national' marketer is largely missing the yellow pages value proposition.