Fake Yellow Pages Ads Hurt Your Business

December 8, 2009

Recently I called a few paving companies in Dallas to inform them of the new ad in the front of the book. I wanted to see if they were aware of what had taken place. I was shocked to find that a large percentage of the numbers in the Paving Contractors heading for new ads either do not work, are not real businesses, or they state wrong number when you call. Is this due to sales fraud at Idearc (which was obvious while I was with the company) or is this just a representation of all the errors in the phone book? Take a moment and make a few calls and find out for yourself.

This practice, from both the sales and advertiser perspective, hurts the perception of the value of the yellow pages as a resource, but advertisers that do not pay for advertising also takes phone calls from local paying clients. The industry needs to look at a method of monetizing all calls as well as reducing the fraud and abuse of “sales reps” vs real media and advertising consultants. I recall while at Idearc in Texas a few Hispanic reps explained a process of working with “day workers” and pre-paid cell phones to place ads under headings that did not have credit restrictions and these individuals basically offered the day workers help in creating a new company with $850.00 per month worth of advertising in the Greater Dallas directory.

Not the direction the industry needs to be heading. With so many issues to deal with, sales fraud and advertisers cheating the company by taking calls from other paying clients is not what they need to succeed.