Friday Yellow Pages News and Views

I’ve come across a few items this past week worth noting. Will give a quick take on each here.

An article in the Dayton Daily News reports that The Berry Network, the CMR wing of The Berry Co., has landed the Allstate Insurance account. To illustrate what a big win this is for BNI, the company is adding 50 jobs in Dayton, Ohio, to accommodate the new account, which amounts to a roughly 24 percent increase in head count.

There has been a fair amount in the financial press about Yellow Pages Group – New Zealand‘s effort to issue bonds, following its highly leveraged acquisition by a private equity group earlier this year. The new owners are sweetening the bond offer to attract investors, which is being reported as a direct fallout from the recent uproar over the collapse in the subprime lending sector and the subsequent tightening of credit. It is also a lesson in the global nature of markets. Additionally, there was a fair amount of reporting that the prospectus for the bond offer projects a NZ$14 million loss in the current fiscal year (2007-2008), compared with a NZ$21 million profit in the year ended June 30, 2007.

It seems that every time I turn around, I see more evidence that the movement to pressure Yellow Pages publishers to print fewer directories for environmental reasons is becoming more organized. The latest is Paperless Petition, which is contending that online Yellow Pages has made print directories obsolete, and to continue publishing print is a wasteful crime against the planet, in essence. It has been hard to figure out who is behind this movement, but I plan to keep trying.

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