Yellow Pages Publishers to Fight Court Decision Upholding Unnecessary Phone Book Law

Official Industry Opt-out Site at Remains Most Sustainable Approach; No-cost for Cities, No Burden for Taxpayers and Privacy Guaranteed for Residents

Jun 29, 2011, 18:18 ET from Local Search Association

SEATTLE, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Yellow Pages publishers expressed disappointment today over the decision by a U.S. District Court judge to uphold Seattle's unnecessary phone book law, which is marred by First Amendment and privacy concerns, duplication, waste, and inefficiency. Publishers plan to appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.


"We are deeply disappointed that the Court failed to honor the First Amendment rights of directory publishers and the citizens of Seattle. The Yellow Pages industry is committed to consumer choice which is why we launched earlier this year. The route the City of Seattle has chosen to take is completely unnecessary," said Neg Norton, president, Local Search Association. "Seattle taxpayers should be outraged that the City continues to waste its resources on a system that is unnecessary and, we believe, illegal."  

Privacy Concerns with Duplicative, City-run System

The industry's national site,, offers consumers a number of advantages including privacy protections that Seattle's site does not provide, an easy to use interface, and the ability to stop delivery of both Yellow Pages and white pages phone books. Information collected through will only be shared with publishers for the purpose of customizing their directory delivery records and will not be sold to third parties or used by city governments or their website vendors for marketing purposes. The City has made no such assurances for its opt-out program or website.

"The City is touting the number of opt-out requests it has received though its new website, but isn't able to indicate whether those stop or reduce-delivery requests were new or duplicate requests from residents who have already opted-out through or individual publishers' sites. The industry launched the site to make it simpler for consumers anywhere in the country to stop delivery. A patchwork of duplicative municipal sites does nothing except make things confusing and expensive. It's hard to understand why the City of Seattle continues to waste its resources defending an unnecessary system when they claim to have consumers' interest in mind," said Larry Angove, president and CEO, Association of Directory Publishers.

One National Site is the Sustainable Approach

The industry's existing site is the most sustainable approach. The benefits include:

  • Protected personal information: Information collected through is used only to allow consumers to customize their directory delivery choices and will not be sold to third parties -- the City has made no such assurances.
  • No burden to cities, taxpayers, or city government staff: Industry assumes all costs associated with development, maintenance and promotion of
  • Greater awareness: One official site will result in greater awareness for consumers across the country.
  • Integration with publishers' technology systems: works seamlessly with the publishers' systems; no third-party vendor has the same level of existing knowledge.
  • Library of directory covers make it easier for residents to identify the directories they wish to keep or stop.

Providing Valuable & Sustainable Local Search Options

This year the Local Search Association issued its second annual sustainability report, which for the first time reflects the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Key highlights from the 2011 report include:

  • Directory paper use decreased an additional 8.1 percent in 2010, totaling nearly 35 percent in paper reduction since 2007.
  • The percentage of directories recycled increased to 36.9 percent according to the latest Environmental Production Agency data. This figure is up from 21.4 percent in last year's report.
  • A comprehensive website at that makes it easy to choose to reduce or stop directory delivery.
  • Telephone directories continue to only represent 0.3 percent of the solid waste stream, significantly less than newspapers (3.2 percent) and office paper (2.2 percent).
  • An array of strategic partnerships focused on environmental, economic and social performance.

Local Search Association has also formed a Sustainability Committee to continue developing sustainable business practices that make sense for their stakeholders, as well as to establish new benchmarks for the industry.

To read the full Local Search Association 2011 Sustainability Report, please visit:

About the Local Search Association

Formerly the Yellow Pages 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 Yellow Pages companies, search engine marketers, online listings and review sites, digital advertising agencies and mobile search providers. The Association has members in 29 countries.

Read the Local Search Association blog at and follow @LocalSearchAssn on Twitter. To learn more about Yellow Pages advertising, visit To choose which phone books you receive, or stop delivery of all directories, visit

About the Association of Directory Publishers

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) (, founded in 1898, is the oldest trade association in North America representing the interests of directory publishers and the companies whose products and service support the industry.

Larry Angove is president and chief executive officer of ADP. Danny Bills, owner of ATD - Austin, is chairman of its Board of Directors. ADP Board member companies include Bridgerland Phone Book, Downey Publishing, Hagadone Directories, Lakeview Publishing, Names and Numbers, SunShine Pages, Tahoe Telephone Directories, Texas Publishing, Valley Yellow Pages, Yellowbook, and the National Marketing Division of YPA.

The Association of Directory Publishers is a Massachusetts not-for-profit corporation.

SOURCE Local Search Association