Obamacare Hazardous to America’s Health — David Limbaugh —

December 22, 2009

Time for real change in Washington and in corporate offices everywhere!

Obamacare Hazardous to America’s Health — David Limbaugh —

Crony Politicians needing to be paid off for votes. Crony Executives looking to use power and influence to get a leg up.

https://i0.wp.com/www.john-goodman-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/Comments%20and%20Images/Chart_for_FYI_Expenditures_for_Health_Programs_Smaller.jpgAren’t you folks getting tired of all this? Wall Street and Capital Hill need to realize that Main Street Americans are tired of the bullshit!

The commonalities between Yellow Pages – A Prescription for the Future and the solutions to our Health care problem are very intriguing.

Senators on Capital Hill will do whatever it takes to shove health care “reform” (real health care reform fixes the insurance system and price of health care, such as fee for service costs etc, as well as builds health care awareness focus) which to me is another pay off. Instead of the banks, it is the insurance companies and doctors associations.

“Reforming” healthcare is one thing… paying off fellow Democrats simply to get the necessary votes to allow for debate is scandalous:

Staffers on Capitol Hill were calling it the Louisiana Purchase.

On the eve of Saturday’s showdown in the Senate over health-care reform, Democratic leaders still hadn’t secured the support of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of the 60 votes needed to keep the legislation alive. The wavering lawmaker was offered a sweetener: at least $100 million in extra federal money for her home state.

And so it came to pass that Landrieu walked onto the Senate floor midafternoon Saturday to announce her aye vote — and to trumpet the financial “fix” she had arranged for Louisiana. “I am not going to be defensive,” she declared. “And it’s not a $100 million fix. It’s a $300 million fix.”

Even when she finally announced her support, at 2:30 in the afternoon, Lincoln made clear that she still planned to hold out for many more concessions in the debate that will consume the next month. “My decision to vote on the motion to proceed is not my last, nor only, chance to have an impact on health-care reform,” she announced.

“My vote today,” she said in a soft Southern accent that masked the hard politics at play, “should in no way be construed by the supporters of this current framework as an indication of how I might vote as this debate comes to an end.” Among the concessions she’ll seek: more tax credits for small business and a removal of the version of the “public option” now in the bill.

Democrats have shown they don’t care what they do to this country fiscally.  The $787 billion “stimulus” ($1.24 trillion with interest figured in) not to mention the nearly $1 trillion cost to “reform” and all of the additional costs that will hit individuals and businesses will result in less money in the pockets of taxpayers, less hiring by employees, and lower wages as companies seek to try and maintain some profits in our new Democratically managed economy.

Witness the recent statement by Emerson Electronics’ CEO regarding how Obama is treating American businesses:

One of the country’s most important industrial companies says the United States is not a good place to manufacture and it will continue moving its assets offshore.

The federal government is “doing everything in [its] manpower [and] capability to destroy U.S. manufacturing,” says David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Co., in a presentation at the Baird 2009 Industrial Conference in Chicago Ill., on Nov. 11. In comments reported by Bloomberg, Farr added that companies will continue adding jobs in China and India because they are “places where people want the products and where the governments welcome you to actually do something. I am not going to hire anybody in the United States. I’m moving. They are doing everything possible to destroy jobs.”

Expect this trend to continue as Democrats push for a more government managed economy.  The result is going to be rationed care, higher taxes, lower quality healthcare, higher unemployment, and more payoffs as we have already seen simply to buy votes.

The generational theft that the Democrats are perpetrating is criminal.

Meanwhile, Yellow Pages publishers want to shove phone books on you whether you want them or not. Then they hold the local government accountable for paying to remove the waste. I think they need to get your permission to send you a book. No OPT OUT… now that you are not regulated to send us one (the phone companies have said they don’t feel getting a book is now necessary) distribution needs to become an OPT IN based system.

The first yellow pages to announce that they are going green and creating a subscription based model will earn the respect of business owners everywhere and show that they want real change.

Prescription for the future

Clearly the advertising spend for SMBs is changing. This August, for the first time, the number of SMBs using the Internet to advertise (77%) was higher than the number of SMBs using traditional advertising (69%). However, the full weight and enormity of this has not yet been felt, as a disproportionate number of dollars were still attributed to traditional advertising. That, however, is about to change. In fact, Internet advertising, currently the third largest spend, is expected to surpass the newspaper spend before 2013 – newspapers being the biggest advertising spend overall today. Unless newspapers react with products other than print, we think this day will come as early as 2011 or 2012.

Much of this shift is happening as SMBs shift their advertising spend from traditional media  to their own online presences, pure-play verticals and Google Adwords. The YP industry is in a truly unique position to take advantage of this opportunity and potentially even grow their share of SMB advertising spend.

A successful future for YP will include evolutionary changes such as transitioning online to IYP, embracing transparency, pay-for-performance, user-generated content, publishing cycle changes, pricing model changes, and sales process changes. However, revolutionary change will need to be embraced to truly seize the opportunity. The YP industry will need to think back to their origins and rediscover the essence of what made them the most valuable source of advertising to their customers. Before the Internet the Yellow pages were:

  1. The most trusted and complete source of business information.
  2. A business model that was incontrovertibly the best ROI available.
  3. The most convenient, fastest way to engage local businesses.

Here is our prescription for how Yellow Pages can attain the above:

  1. Become the most trusted source by providing Social Context to consumers visiting the directory.
  2. Become the most complete and richest source of business listings by allowing all businesses to provide complete and rich data and participate in the online directory for free.
  3. Provide an incontrovertible ROI by embracing a new advertising model in which advertisers set their own advertising fee and only pay based on a successful transaction, and use this model to leverage the advertisers’ spend on their existing web presence.
  4. Become the most convenient, fastest way to engage local businesses by providing consumers with an interactive system to communicate with advertisers on a one-to-many basis.

We would be remiss if we did not tell you that we have developed the set of tools that can help YP companies do exactly what we’ve described.

Using our platform, the Yellow Pages can once again attain this position of advertising dominance. Yellow Page companies have both the sales force and the means to take advantage of the shift of advertising dollars from traditional print to online models.

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So you prefer Google over getting ink on your fingers with the Yellow Pages…. it’s time to “OPT OUT” of Yellow Pages industry wasteful saturation distribution methods.

October 26, 2009

Saturation Distribution…………. it’s just WRONG!

Photo by Lulu Vision via Flickr
photo by Lulu Vision


It appears that the Public Relations folks at the major yellow pages directory companies are pushing folks on Twitter to use www.yellowpagesoptout.com to stop receiving copies of the printed yellow pages. Well…. TODAY is the day. I am going to call and opt out of getting the books since I no longer need to participate in “distribution surveys” for work. (I no longer work for Idearc Media / Verizon Yellow Pages & Superpages.com). Let’s see if I get anymore books.

Personally I believe that getting a phone book is a necessity for many people. I just believe it needs to be “opted in” instead of “opted out”. Although it appears the industry can afford to lobby to prevent anti solicitation and spam bills, it is apparent that consumers do not have a strong voice in the matter.

Many 3rd party websites exist where consumers are able to get involved in selecting what yellow pages media they want to receive or be “disturbed” by. Sites such as:

http://www.PaperlessPetition.org says:

New research by The Kelsey Group indicates that consumer local media preferences are in transition, influenced by demographic factors, including age, income and education. The younger and more educated and affluent consumers are, the more they tend to utilize online resources at the expense of traditional media.

For example, the survey revealed that just 44% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34, and only 28% of teens said they would turn to print Yellow Pages first when looking for local listings. On the other hand, 47% of these respondents said their first choice would be search engines.

“There’s a very clear age factor,” said Kelsey Group analyst Neal Polachek. He added that as consumers who are most accustomed to using the Web begin to enter their 30s, when they have more disposable income and are making bigger purchases, so too will businesses in their local advertising. “All of a sudden, you’re looking for schools, you own a house, you’re looking for mortgages — big purchase decisions. Those people will never have had the built-in habit of picking up the print Yellow Pages.”[5]

This research illustrates the decreasing demand for printed directories and the increasing usage of search engines for local information. We should all be following the youth’s lead, not only because their methods are faster and more efficient, but to also help preserve our planet’s limited resources.

Help Stop the Waste!

WhitePages.com sponsored site www.banthephonebook.org says:

Did you know that up to 5 million trees are cut down each year to create the white pages phone book and that taxpayers are spending $17 million each year to have these books recycled? Even more surprising is that almost 75% of consumers are completely unaware of the environmental and financial impact in printing, delivering and recycling these books. Given that you likely use online directories, social networks and mobile phone applications to find the contact information you need, it simply does not make sense to have the white pages phone books forcefully delivered to us every year.

Of course the industry asks you to go to a site it created www.yellowpagesoptout.com to opt out of directory distribution. Many have said that the site does not work as it simply asks you to spend hours on the phone attempting to tell the publisher’s you do not want a book. It has also been found that DEX does a pretty good job of following consumer wishes and leaves a nice door hanger asking you to request a phone book if you opt out (kudos to Dex for doing what people ask).

With YellowPagesOptOut the industry is apparently asking consumers to make a choice of which phone book they do want to receive if any. Maybe the PR folks at Idearc need to state, “Opt Out of Phone Books you don’t want, keep the one with the SuperGuarantee“.

Yellow Pages Industry says Consumers have a Choice....

In my opinion saturation distribution methods are wrong. You see, before the existence of the internet folks needed phone books. It was almost a necessity. How do consumers stop getting copies of phone books? It is not with opting out or opting in… it is by not using the phone book, disposing of it, voice opinions about it, telling businesses that advertise in it you prefer they didn’t, and rewarding publishers who do as you ask. I believe that consumers in many areas of the United States still need phone books. Most of rural America needs the phone book. Unfortunately publishers do not care about providing books based on need. Around 2006 when Verizon Yellow Pages became Idearc Media the company ceased distribution of many rural area books in the state of Texas. Why? It was not as profitable to publish these books since ad costs for smaller markets was significantly less than larger ones and a lack of sales made it a challenge to achieve profitable margins. Smaller publishers seem to make profits and produce a better product in these areas (San Angelo Tx and Bryan-College Station consumers prefer the Area Wide Directory over the Verizon Yellow Pages). Maybe it is the one size fits all approach or the “unachievable” margins the big telco publishers are attempting to receive?

Regardless of how print publishers react to a change in consumer behavior (this change has been taking place since the birth of the internet…. it is not like they have not had enough warning to react) going forward, it is up to consumer’s and advertisers to stop receiving phone books. Publisher’s will continue to lobby our elected officials and will also continue with the “saturation distribution” method. I used to think this issue would fix itself in a “supply and demand” fashion, but it is apparent that supply/demand does not always work, especially when media ad costs may justify cost of distribution. The consumers that do not want the product are forced to get it because some consumers do use the product and advertisers profit from this.

I don’t think I am the only one that believes a yellow page “distribution by subscription” method would be a wise strategy. If you want to increase value, find out who really does use your product. In the hands of the right target market the yellow pages is a very powerful product. I have always told my clients that if you want to be the best website on the internet, become an authority. The best websites are subscribed to. The best magazines are subscribed to. The best TV shows are TIVO’d or subscribed to. The best phone books will also be requested and subscribed to. I would love to be an advertiser in a phone book were the consumer actually requested the product.

BTW, how much is a phone book worth to a recycling company? If I recall the amount of glue in the spine makes it a challenge to recycle.

Additional Yellow Pages Industry Facts

* North American Yellow Pages Print Distribution: 540 million directories
* Global Industry Revenue: $26 billion
* U.S. Industry Revenue: $14 billion
* Revenue from printed directories: 97%
* Revenue from online directories: 3%

There are over 7,000 different titles of Yellow Pages, including competing industry-specific, ethnic-targeted, and “underlay” or neighborhood-specific titles. There are no strict rules, other than market demand, limiting the number of Yellow Pages titles to be printed in a single market. For example, this year in Southern California, it is possible that a person could have over 10 Yellow Pages directories dropped on their doorstep from 10 different publishers. It is also noteworthy that with a distribution of 540 million, there are more directories dropped than the entire population of North America. This industry practice is called “saturation distribution.”

What is “Saturation Distribution”?

In the past, anyone with a landline automatically received a printed copy of the Yellow Pages. But today, with the landline exodus to mobile phones, and considering drops at large apartment buildings or corporate campuses, directory publishers use “Saturation Distribution” to ensure that enough printed copies are available.[1] This means that an over-estimated number of copies are dropped to ensure that everyone gets a copy. Even more waste.
The Biggest Players in the Yellow Pages Game:[2]

RANK MEDIA COMPANY NET DIRECTORY REVENUE
1 SBC Communications $3.8 Billion
2 Verizon Communications $3.6 Billion
3 BellSouth Corp. $2.0 Billion
4 Dex Media $1.7 Billion
5 Yellow Book USA (Yell Group) $1.1 Billion

If you want to share your thoughts directly with the Yellow Pages Association:
Yellow Pages Association (YPA)

Global Headquarters
Two Connell Drive, First Floor
Berkeley Heights, N.J. 07922-2747
(908) 286-2380
(908) 286-0620 (Fax)

Mr. Negley (Neg) Norton
President, Yellow Pages Association (YPA)
908 286-2385
Neg.Norton@ypassociation.org


Will Idearc/Verizon Yellow Pages and RHD Consider Accepting Directory Distribution Opt Out Lists

October 20, 2009

Revealing Update on Dex’s Phone Directory Dumping « by John Harvey Irwin – Will Idearc & RHD consider accepting alternative opt out lists from verified providers? ( http://ping.fm/cMQdn )