The Local Search Association released this comment after a local judge again denied the industry relief from the recently passed required opt-out law in Seattle. The release highlights a number of soild reasons why this law will ultimatley be struck down:
Yellow Pages Publishers
to Fight Court Decision Upholding Unnecessary Phone Book Law
Opt-out Site at http://www.YellowPagesOptOut.com Remains Most Sustainable
Approach; No-cost for
Cities, No Burden for Taxpayers and Privacy Guaranteed for
SEATTLE – June 29, 2011 – Yellow Pages publishers expressed
disappointment today over the decision by a U.S. District Court judge to uphold
Seattle’s unnecessary phone book law, which is marred by First Amendment and
privacy concerns, duplication, waste, and inefficiency. Publishers plan to
appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
“We are deeply disappointed that the Court failed to honor the First Amendment rights of directory publishers and the citizens of Seattle. The Yellow Pages industry is committed to consumer choice, which is why we launched http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com earlier this year. The route the City of Seattle
has chosen to take is completely unnecessary,” said Neg Norton, president,
Local Search Association. “Seattle taxpayers should be outraged that the City
continues to waste its resources on a system that is unnecessary and, we
Privacy Concerns with Duplicative, City-run System
The industry’s national site, www.yellowpagesoptout.com, offers consumers a number of advantages including privacy protections that Seattle’s site does not provide, an easy to use interface, and the ability to stop delivery of both Yellow Pages and white pages phone books. Information collected through www.yellowpagesoptout.com will only be shared with publishers for the purpose of customizing their directory delivery records and will not be sold to third parties or used by city governments or their website vendors for marketing purposes. The City has made no such assurances for its opt-out program or website.
“The City is touting the number of opt-out requests it has received though its new website, but isn’t able to indicate whether those stop or reduce-delivery requests were new or duplicate requests from residents who have already opted-out through www.yellowpagesoptout.com or individual publishers’ sites. The industry launched the site to make it simpler for consumers anywhere in the country to stop delivery. A patchwork of duplicative municipal sites does nothing except make things confusing and expensive. It’s hard to understand why the City of Seattle continues to waste its resources defending an unnecessary system when they claim to have consumers’ interest in mind,” said Larry Angove, president and CEO, Association of Directory Publishers.
One National Site is the Sustainable Approach
The industry’s existing site is the most sustainable approach. The benefits include:
- Protected personal information: Information collected through http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com is used only to allow consumers to customize their directory delivery choices and will not be sold to third parties — the City has made no such assurances.
- No burden to cities, taxpayers, or city government staff: Industry assumes all costs associated with development, maintenance and promotion of http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com.
- Greater awareness: One official site will result in greater awareness for consumers across the country.
- Integration with publishers’ technology systems: http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com works seamlessly with the publishers’ systems; no third-party vendor has the same level of existing knowledge.
- Library of directory covers make it easier for residents to identify the directories they wish to keep or stop.
Providing Valuable & Sustainable Local Search Options
This year the Local Search Association issued its second annual sustainability report, which for the first time reflects the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Key highlights from the 2011 report include:
- Directory paper use decreased an additional 8.1 percent in 2010, totaling nearly 35 percent in paper reduction since 2007.
- The percentage of directories recycled increased to 36.9 percent according to the latest Environmental Protection Agency data. This figure is up from 21.4 percent in last year’s report.
- A comprehensive website at www.yellowpagesoptout.com that makes it easy to choose to reduce or stop directory delivery.
- Telephone directories continue to only represent 0.3 percent of the solid waste stream, significantly less than newspapers (3.2 percent) and office paper (2.2 percent).
- An array of strategic partnerships focused on environmental, economic and social performance.
Local Search Association has also formed a Sustainability Committee to continue developing sustainable business practices that make sense for their stakeholders, as well as to establish new benchmarks for the industry.
To read the full Local Search Association 2011 Sustainability Report, please visit: www.localsearchassociation.org