Advertising dollars drying up. Readership disappearing. Relevance waning due to the Internet and smart phones.
The Yellow Pages and its competitors, which just a decade or so ago had rival publishers fighting with telephone company directories over copious ad revenue, have had a rough go of it of late, particularly in larger cities as fewer people bother to pick them up off the sidewalks or doorsteps.
But publishers of the voluminous tomes got a dose of good news recently when a 2011 San Francisco ordinance that created a program to restrict the distribution of Yellow Pages directories was shelved after a federal court decision that struck down a similar ordinance in Seattle, according to the Bay Citizen.
In an effort to stave off complaints and blight associated with the frequent pileup of never-used directories outside residences, San Francisco created a three-year pilot program under which residents and businesses would have to request a telephone directory in order to receive one.
But a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a similar case in Seattle that the distribution of Yellow Pages is protected under the First Amendment. San Francisco's ordinance had faced a similar challenge, and the Board of Supervisors suspended their ordinance last month.
Publishers say that customers can simply opt-out of receiving the Yellow Pages by visiting the Local Search Association's website.
The turn of events got us thinking: How many Napa Valley residents use the Yellow Pages these days? Is the arrival of the big yellow book on your doorstep a mere layover before its arrival in your blue recycling bin? Are the Yellow Pages a trusted resource or an obsolete pile of paper? Tell us in the comments.
This article was originally posted on San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch.
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