Last week, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed the first vote towards banning the delivery of Yellow Pages. As reported by the Los Angeles Times , San Francisco is the first city in the nation to restrict the distribution of the book.
If the bill passes its second vote this week, the new legislation will launch a three-year pilot program , starting on October 1, 2011. That program will ensure that Yellow Pages are prohibited from being delivered to private residences and businesses in San Francisco unless they have been specifically requested. Otherwise, the distributor will be subject to administrative penalties.
What does this ban mean?
This bill indicates the government's determination to protect both the interest of its citizens and the environment. Consumers increasingly consider online services before Yellow Pages as they make purchase decision. They are not interested in unsolicited mail. If they need some product or service, they can search for it in search engines or ask friends on social media.
How should you prepare for such developments?
You should keep building your online presence. Educate your target audience about your industry and how it connects to their day-to-day lives. As we have previously discussed , if you are ahead of the curve and following closely the shift in consumer behavior, you can own this new space and become a trusted advisor online.
Should we expect other governments to follow suit? Probably. In any case, act before your city does.