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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Declines in YP Usage Point to Multiple Culprits
Charles Laughlin , 6/5/2000

Issue: A Look at the Latest Revenue and Usage Numbers.

News: Yellow Pages usage continues to decline in many key categories. Average weekly frequency was down to 1.49 in 1999 from 1.90 in 1995. In 1999, Yellow Pages revenues grew by 5.5 percent. Conversely, Internet advertising revenues continued on their rocket ride, growing by 84 percent in 1999, according to the latest numbers from McCann Erickson forecaster Bob Coen.

The latest data from YPPA's industry usage study shows the trend toward lower usage in most of the top headings continuing, with certain at-risk headings (such as Lumber Yards) declining at an accelerated pace.

What's intriguing about the latest data from Coen is that some other media that share the Yellow Pages' decline characteristics had better-than-expected years in 1999. This suggests a strong economy, and a lack of mass-audience alternatives means advertisers will continue to pay even as media efficiency declines. The question, of course, is for how long.

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