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Yellow Pages issues final edition after 51 years

Deliveries of the final edition of the iconic phonebook started on February 27th 2019 in Brighton where it all began, following more than 50 years in print.


Yell announced it would be going fully digital in September 2017, and the final editions of the Yellow Pages are being distributed this month.

Richard Hanscott, CEO of Yell, comments: ‘‘After 51 years in production Yellow Pages is a household name and we’re proud to say that we still have customers who’ve been with us from the very first Yellow Pages edition in 1966. How many brands can say they’ve had customers with them for over 50 years?”

It has been a prominent print product in many homes, for many years across the world.

The yellow pages name and concept first came about when a printer producing a directory in Wyoming, US, ran out of white paper and used yellow instead. It arrived officially in the UK in 1966, when the Post Office launched the first directory.

It later became part of BT, which sold the Yellow Pages for £2.1bn in 2001. At its peak, there were around 27 million copies of Yellow Pages being delivered to homes around the UK. The Yell digital site was launched in 1996 and following the rapid growth of digital and social media in 2017 the business decided to pull the print edition.

we’re proud to say that we still have customers who’ve been with us from the very first Yellow Pages edition in 1966

Kate Garraway, presenter on Good Morning Britain, joked on the programme that “one of those is keeping my dining table level!” whilst Ben Shephard, co-presenter, admitted he got his first job by going through the Yellow Pages.

The Telegraph recently reported that Hibu, the company that owns Yell, has been put up for sale five years after it collapsed into administration. The company, which was acquired from BT, was once valued at nearly £5bn but fell under the weight of a £2.3bn debt pile in the wake of Google and other digital services offering business listings. 

Having already sold its businesses in Spain and Latin America, the company is attempting to steer a path to growth. The British business employs 1,500 people and reported a £227m revenue for 2018 with a fall of 37% for the print division and a small increase of 3% for its digital marketing and digital directories division. The Telegraph reports the business could fetch up to £350m.

The Yellow Pages makes its final deliveries

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