Mayor Wellington E. Webb: Yellow Pages Publishers Build Partnerships to Promote Consumer Choice

Wellington E. Webb, who served as Mayor of Denver from 1991-2003, continues his series on the importance of raising visibility for our industry’s national consumer choice website,, which enables local residents and businesses to easily determine whether or not they want to receive directories. Here is the second post in Mayor Webb’s series.

In recent years, several cities and towns across the country have introduced legislation regulating the delivery of print Yellow Pages to homes and businesses.

As a former city leader, I understand and respect community efforts to cut back on the number of unused directories. However, in this instance, I disagree that regulation is the right approach.

Regulating the industry threatens the future prosperity of many local businesses that drive the local economy, and could forcibly take an important resource away from local consumers.  It also disregards the industry’s impressive efforts to go green while remaining an effective tool for local businesses and consumers.

Yellow Pages publishers have had some recent successes working with organizations and local elected officials to get the word out to residents about the industry’s opt-out program. For example, after the industry met with Alameda County’s Stop Waste organization, the group agreed to help educate residents about the industry’s opt-out program by including a link to on their website.  Additionally, California councilmembers Lena Tam of Alameda, Jim Prola of San Leandro, Mark Salina of Hayward, and Bill Harrison of Fremont have distributed press releases in their communities to help spread the word about the program.

Yellow Pages publishers recognize the need to cut back on unused books.  The opt-out site at is a common-sense approach that doesn’t cost taxpayers any money, but gets the desired result of cutting back on the delivery of phone books to those who don’t want them.

Partnerships like those described above help ensure that the industry’s opt-out program is as effective as possible, so we’re off to a great start!  I hope the industry achieves more successes like these as we continue our work to promote this great program.

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