The CEO of Ziplocal, which produces phone books for Inyo-Mono and for many cities in the West, admitted that the
company has cut back on phone book distribution, but he claims that more people seek phone numbers on line and he is following the trends of the market.
Olivier Vincent, CEO of Ziplocal, defended criticism that his company has distributed many fewer phone books than promised to advertisers in the books. This criticism went all the way to the Alaska Attorney General who is reportedly investigating PDC Pages, a division of Ziplocal.
Mr. Vincent told Sierra Wave that his company is “evolving” and has reduced circulation of phone books by 5% to 35%, depending on the market. Asked about numbers of phone books produced and circulated in Inyo-Mono, Vincent said that his company made no promise of a specific number of phone books here but did promise a certain amount of leads for advertisers. He said that circulation of the High Sierra phone books in the Mammoth-Bishop area is down “15% to 18%.” Vincent claims that the number of leads and people who see local advertising on the internet is “way above what is missing in print.”
Vincent said that he believes “60% to 70% of people are reading phone books. We don’t want to waste the advertisers’ dollars on too many phone books,” he said. Vincent said that Ziplocal advertisers, including businesses here in the Eastern Sierra, are linked to Google, FaceBook and You Tube where they are getting hits. They are also featured, he said, on Ziplocal.com.
Did he breach contracts or inform advertisers of this change in operation? Vincent said, “I don’t think we have communicated well enough.” He denies his company did anything wrong in Alaska or anywhere else, although reports do say that investigations into phone book production and circulation are under investigation in several states. Vincent maintains that “It’s in the best interest of the advertisers that we don’t print wasted phone books. There is no breach of contract of any kind.”