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Home Blogs Diary 2015 03

Yell / Hibu is no longer corporately responsible

25th March 2015
This year's edition of the Yellow Pages, dumped on a doorstep.
The Yellow Pages has arrived, yet again.

The image shows the doorstep of the house next door. The Yellow Pages deliverer presumably struggled to push the unsolicited book though the letter box, and so reckoned it might be an idea to leave it outside. He presumably also failed to notice the 'For Sale' sign in the garden, and the rather empty interior. Job done!

There used to be a time when people got annoyed with the Yellow Pages. People were ranting on YouTube and the Local Government Association declared a war on pointless phone directories. In the States some cities set up up their own opt-out schemes, while in the UK set up a Say No To Phonebooks website – and I myself set up Junk Buster. In response, Yell infiltrated schools to teach children that distributing tens of millions of unsolicited phone books is good for the environment, and for us adults they wrote long corporate responsibility reports.

Then Yell managed to run the company into the ground, and in a desperate attempt to save the business they changed their name to Hibu. In addition to wasting tonnes of paper on printing unwanted directories they would now also create a localised version of Ebay. It was all about connecting at the heart of the Hibu logo, according to the company's press release.

Move forward a couple of years, and it appears the war on pointless phone directories has ceased. The Say No To Phonebooks website has been deleted. The domain nowadays forwards to, and the original press release about connecting at the heart of the Hibu logo has been removed. The local version of Ebay no longer exists and Kirk, which was the company's woodland minibeast that was telling children that printing unsolicited directories is good for the environment (because it increases recycling rates), has been brutaly murdered.

Interestingly, Yell's corporate responsibility reports have also been purged. URLs of old reports are redirected to Yell's About Us page, and if you'd try to find information about Yell's thoughts on the environmental impact of the Yellow Pages you'll be disappointed – there's no such information on its website.

The moral? Yell, or Hibu, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, is no longer even pretending to be corporately responsible – and the public no longer cares.

Last updated: 
25th March 2015

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