Yellow Pages News Roundup

Here is a collection of newsworthy Yellow Pages and directional media items that I’ve noted over the past week or so.

Got this press release in my inbox from Yell Group this morning, showing some creativity in linking the print directory with the mobile Web:

INTERACTIVE SMART CODES TRIALLED ON YELLOW PAGES FRONT COVER

In a UK directory industry first, Yell is to trial innovative smart codes on the front covers of two editions of its Yellow Pages directories, enabling consumers to obtain the latest local cinema and weather information via the mobile internet.

The press release goes on to note that there are roughly 25 million handsets in the U.K. that are capable of accepting the i-nigma reader required to use the smart codes.

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A Texas-based hedge fund has upped its stake in R.H. Donnelley, making it the third-largest shareholder in the directory publisher. The fund, with the vaguely Jetsons-like name Amalgamated Gadgets (so far, no word if Spacely Sprockets has an interest in investing) now owns 5.34 million shares, or a 7.76 percent stake.

RHD shares closed at 0.37 on Nov. 26, about 99 percent off its high. Amalgamated gave no indication of the reason for investment, but has said it has no intention of “changing or influencing the control of the issuer of the securities.”

Both RHD and its peer Idearc have received notice from the NYSE that they face delisting due to noncompliance with requirements for listing on the exchange. Idearc has entered a quiet period in order to sort out its options for improving its financial position going forward.

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AT&T has made public its plans to change the name of AT&T Advertising & Publishing to AT&T Advertising Solutions, and reorganize into more distinct sales and product development silos. TKG broke this news here a while back.

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Cincinnati Bell has announced a new Smart Home Phone service, using technology from Casabi, that allows landline users to access features normally found on mobile phones, like get SMS messages (converting voicemails to text) and browsing online content, including Yellow Pages listings, news, weather and sports.

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The 4A’s has hired the agency Connect FKM to develop a print and online Yellow Pages program for 4A’s members. According to the press release, “The goal of the program is to create agency brand differentiation in the Yellow Pages for agencies wishing to distinguish themselves as 4A’s members. Member agencies will appear in a 4A’s trademark, a call-out box that will allow higher visibility and credibility within the print Yellow Pages.”

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Atlanta-based Metro Directories had signed on with Boomdash to sell a packaged SEM product to local businesses. Metro is widely known for its guaranteed ad program, but was relatively late to the online party, launching its IYP in 2007. Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Boomdash has been targeting independent publishers as resellers for its local search offering.

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