Yellow Pages to publish final copy after more than 50 years in January

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There’s no directory you can thumb through to find someone to make this feel better … after more than 50 years, hundreds of millions of copies and a host of beloved adverts, the Yellow Pages is being killed off.

Since 1966, the weighty tome has sat next to the landline in nearly every home. 

Its contents have solved many a domestic crisis and secured countless local traders lucrative business.

Its slogans, such as “Let your fingers do the walking” and “It’s not just there for the bad things in life”, have entered common parlance.

Much-loved: Yellow Pages adverts have won the heats to viewers over the years

But now parent company Yell is calling time on the publication. 

In future, businesses seeking customers will list and advertise online using Yell’s digital platform. 

Yell is printing 23 million copies of one last edition next year – which it hopes will become a souvenir.

Festive favourite: The Yellow Pages will publish its last edition

Chief executive Richard Hanscott said: “After 51 years Yellow Pages is a household name and we’re proud to say we still have customers who’ve been with us from the very first one.”

Perhaps the best loved ad, from 1983, shows a gentle old man (Norman Lumsden) trying to trace an out-of-print book, Fly Fishing by J R Hartley. After a fruitless search he looks in Yellow Pages and finds one — and we discover he is the author.

Another shows a teenager waking to the chaos of his parents’ house after a party: “Hello, French polishers? It’s just possible you could save my life.” 

James Nesbitt starred in other ads. 

Nearly all firms now have an online presence and Yell said that while Yellow Pages is still profitable it probably wouldn’t be in a few years.

The first of the final edition will hit Kingston in January — and the last will be distributed 12 months later in Brighton, where it all started.


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