co Are The Yellow Pages Outdated? |

The Yellow Pages now have an opt-out website. Really. And that’s a good thing, right?

Not if you listen to Frank Reed.

I guess there’s good reason to be skeptical, but I have a different take on the subject than Frank does. I agree with his five talking points, of course, but I’m not so sure about his cynical conclusion. From the article:

Unfortunately, we live in a society where this kind of thing can be passed off as real action and the result is the ability of the Yellow Page industry to say “Look we are doing our part!” when they know full well that most people won’t even know the option exists.

Welcome to online America, home of the shallow. Where people can look like they are concerned and give any appearance they need to get by.

OK, I suppose it’s possible that the Yellow Pages are using the opt-out website as a smoke and mirrors illusion-creating ruse to make people think they care about the environment. Then what? It won’t change the fact that people are using the Yellow Pages less and less. I don’t see people saying, “Oh, look, the Yellow Pages are going green. Please deliver them to me so I can make fewer online searches this year.” Do you?

Rather, I think it’s probably likely that the folks at the Yellow Pages have seen the writing on the wall. They’re going to lose to online search. Period. You can’t stop the train. So, what better way to collect your e-mail address than to give you a way to opt out of print delivery? Then, they can redirect you to the Online Yellow Pages using the most effective Internet marketing available – e-mail marketing.

That, to me, seems like a much more likely strategy. What do you think?