Yellow Page Association Response: Companion Directories | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

Yellow Page Association Response: Companion Directories

Companion Directories

Issue: Concern has been expressed by members of the ANA Directory Committee regarding the "forced bundling" (versus opt-in) approach used by some publishers offering companion directories. The committee put forth the notion that companion books may provide more places for the same number of look ups at an increased cost. They have requested more flexibility in terms of whether to advertise in the companion directory and what size and creative to run. In addition, committee members would like more advance notice from companion directory publishers regarding publication schedules in order to establish testing protocols and budgets.

YPA Position: YPA is not in a position to comment on the marketing and pricing strategies of its members. The request for more timely notification of companion directory publication schedules has been communicated to publishers. In addition, YPA has communicated the need for more nationally-oriented sales collateral material in order to more effectively communicate the value proposition of companion directories to national advertisers.

Syndicated Research

Issue: The ANA Directory Committee presented that syndicated research gives yellow pages a seat at the table with other media and that it allows national advertisers to justify, maintain, and in some cases, expand investment. The committee would like YPA to articulate its position regarding syndicated research.

YPA Position: YPA has been a strong supporter of KN/SRI's Yellow Pages Market Reporter (YPMR) service. YPA believes that expansion of the current number of measured markets and DDA's is dependent upon the CMR's and national advertiser's ability to demonstrate how the YPMR information is being used to defend and grow both overall yellow pages spending as well as spending amongst individual publishers as warranted via share of use data.

Circulation Audits

Issue: The ANA Directory Committee expressed that circulation audits give yellow pages a seat at the table with other media which practice circulation auditing-magazines and newspapers specifically, via the Audit Bureau of Circulation, BPA and CAC; also out-of-home and the Internet practice circulation auditing. The committee believes that circulation auditing provides credibility by validating audience delivery and that auditing is simply one more step in the process beyond the distribution verification process used by most major publishers. The committee would like YPA to articulate its position regarding circulation audits.

YPA Position: YPA maintains its position that the utilization of third-party Circulation audits is a publisher by publisher decision. Circulation audits are viewed by some publishers as different from Syndicated Research. The reason is that Yellow Pages value is more effectively measured by usage in the marketplace than by the number of copies distributed. Accordingly, most reputable publishers measure product usage through a variety of means (e.g. YPMR, proprietary usage studies and metered ad studies) in order to prove value to their advertisers. In addition, many publishers invest in research to verify that distribution was complete and accurate as well as to correct any mistakes as quickly as possible. Comparing the need for circulation audits for a usage based medium like Yellow Pages with media that base advertising rates on guaranteed or paid circulation strikes some as an insufficient comparison.

Recognizing the importance CMRs and national advertisers have and continue to place on distribution, YPA modified its Rates and Data and IRIS Online products effective July 2005 and now includes three distribution related fields: 1) Printed Copies (based on publisher supplied printer bills) 2) Projected Print Distribution (publisher supplied value) and 3) Electronic Distribution (publisher supplied value for a print directory on CD). These fields are intended to provide CMRs and advertisers with the most up-to-date distribution information for both the current and forthcoming edition. While population of the printed copies field has been strong, population of the two other distribution fields has been inconsistent. Accordingly, YPA will strongly encourage all publishers utilizing Rates and Data to provide the aforementioned distribution information as soon as possible.


"Companion Directories." Yellow Page Association, July 2007.