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The Yellow Pages industry is attempting to give national advertisers an alternative delivery system for direct marketing materials, catalogs and product samples.

A Yellow Pages Publishers Association committee will establish guidelines to offer an alternative one-stop shopping vehicle for advertisers to distribute direct marketing materials.

"There are seven or eight publishers already providing this service to national advertisers in their regions, but we want to make it a national medium, not just a regional program," said Elsie Maloy, director of marketing services for BellSouth Advertising & Publishing Corp. and co-chairman of the YPPA committee.

The panel will not only concentrate on the major publishers, but also recruit the smaller, independent publishers to sign onto the delivery network, said John Purcell, VP-public policy and environmental affairs for the YPPA and coordinator of the committee.

"We are trying to help clients reach the top 100 markets across the country," Ms. Maloy said. "We want to make [Yellow Pages] easy to do business with."

Ms. Maloy said the network's profits from the national delivery system will help "offset the cost of delivering phone books" as well as help advertisers penetrate about 97% to 98% of the nation's homes.

Details of the program will be discussed at the next meeting of the committee, scheduled for May. The program is slated to roll out in the fourth quarter of this year.

So far, the panel isn't disclosing details about how the program will be marketed to advertisers or how it will be funded.

Advertisers that are currently involved in programs on a regional basis include retailers and Fortune 500 companies, as well as financial institutions.

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