This is the property of the Daily Journal Corporation and fully protected by copyright. It is made available only to Daily Journal subscribers for personal or collaborative purposes and may not be distributed, reproduced, modified, stored or transferred without written permission. Please click "Reprint" to order presentation-ready copies to distribute to clients or use in commercial marketing materials or for permission to post on a website. and copyright (showing year of publication) at the bottom.

Wither the Yellow Pages?

By Jeanne Deprincen | Oct. 2, 2006

Law Office Management

Oct. 2, 2006

Wither the Yellow Pages?

Advertising in the age of the Internet. By Kevin Livingston

By Kevin Livingston
      Edited By Martin Lasden
      When the first yellow pages directory was published in Connecticut 128 years ago, one of the first listings was "Attorney." Since then categories for lawyers have consistently ranked among the most frequently used in the phone book, and today attorneys spend more than $1 billion per year to advertise their services. But with the advent of online pay-per-click advertising--text-based ads that appear next to results on search engines such as Google and Yahoo--attorneys are scrambling to find an online advertising formula that best suits their particular needs.
      According to a recent study, lawyers are paying far more than anybody else to advertise their services on Google, sometimes as much as $50 per mouse click. Much of that money comes from attorney budgets heretofore reserved for more traditional methods of advertising such as phone book ads.
      The introduction of paid advertising for local Google searches is expected to further lure lawyers away from the yellow pages, as Google, Yahoo, and other search engines attempt to swallow up the $15 billion that yellow pages advertising takes in each year in America. For now, most attorneys seem to be shouldering the cost of both forms of advertising.
      Steve Poland, president of Vested Ventures, an Austin, Texasbased Internet marketing firm that works with lawyers, is confident online advertising will eventually replace phone book advertising.
      "Typically, the yellow pages is a lawyer's biggest advertising expenditure," Poland says. "The [pay-per-click] industry will take over all those advertisers."
      So far, though, phone directory publishers such as AT&T say they have not witnessed a drop in attorney advertising revenue. "Our advertising rates are highly competitive and based on the value of our services," says Bob Mueller, a spokesperson for AT&T print advertising.
      At the same time, Mueller notes that his company is partnering with Google and Yahoo to bring customers and advertisers together through the company's website, AT&T also plans to make ads available through wireless handsets and Internet protocol television.
      "AT&T Yellow Pages wrote the book on local search," Mueller declares.

Jeanne Deprincen

Daily Journal Staff Writer

For reprint rights:

Email for prices.
Direct dial: 949-702-5390

If you would like to purchase a copy of your Daily Journal photo, call (213) 229-5558.

Send a letter to the editor: