Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Unanimously Rules: Yellow Pages Directories are Fully Protected Speech

Statement from Neg Norton, President, Local Search Association

15 Oct, 2012, 19:46 ET from Local Search Association

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J., Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- We are extremely pleased the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Yellow Pages directories are "fully protected speech" under the First Amendment, striking down Seattle's discriminatory phone book law. Today's decision will protect all media, including Yellow Pages, from restrictions that hurt local businesses and consumers and cost taxpayer dollars.

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The Court's ruling is good news for residents who find value in the free and easy access to community information, emergency information, and local business listings that print Yellow Pages offer. It is also a win for local businesses that depend on Yellow Pages advertising to drive new customers into their doors.

We believe it doesn't make sense to deliver a directory to someone who doesn't want one. Our industry's national consumer choice program, rather than local government-led initiatives, is the best approach to ensure consumers can control the delivery of Yellow Pages directories to their homes. Launched last year, our national opt-out website at is available at zero cost to taxpayers without the use of government resources.

In light of this decision, we are optimistic the District Court in San Francisco, also in the Ninth Circuit, will quickly overturn that City's even more restrictive ordinance.

About the Local Search Association
The Local Search Association ( is the largest trade organization of print, digital, mobile and social media that help local businesses get found and selected by ready-to-buy consumers.  Association members include U.S. and international directory publishers, search engine marketers, online listings and review sites, digital advertising agencies and mobile search providers. The Association has members in 29 countries.

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David Fishman

SOURCE Local Search Association