London : The iconic telephone directory – Yellow Pages – will publish its final print next year, more than fifty years after it was launched in 1966 in the UK.
Yell, the company that owns Yellow Pages, announced that the first of the 104 final editions will be distributed in Kingston in the UK in January 2019.
A final directory will be sent out in Brighton, where it was first published in 1966. Yell has decided to go fully digital.
“Like many businesses, Yell has found that succeeding in digital demands constant change and innovation. We’re well placed to continue to help local businesses and consumers be successful online, both now and in the future,” said Richard Hanscott, chief executive of Yell. “After 51 years in production Yellow Pages is a household name and we are proud to say that we still have customers who have been with us from the very first Yellow Pages edition in 1966,” Hanscott was quoted as saying by ‘BBC News’.
A household staple and handy doorstop for years, Yellow Pages was known for its advertisements.
In recent years, the directory has caused environmental concerns, prompting the launch of the Say No to Phonebooks campaign in 2009, which called for an “opt-in” scheme whereby only those who want these directories left by their door would receive them.
At the time, the Yell Group, then maker of Yellow Pages, maintained it was “among the most sustainable companies in the world,” adding: “Our directories are produced in an environmentally responsible way and are 100% recyclable. In common with other members of the Data Publishers Association, we maintain an opt-out scheme that enables consumers to choose not to receive a directory.”
The Yellow Pages telephone directory came about in 1883 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, when a printer producing a directory ran out of white paper and used yellow instead. The first Yellow Pages publication was formed three years later.
In the UK in 1966, the Post Office first launched the directory, which later became part of British Telecom.