Monday, November 24, 2008

One of the Worst Forms of Advertising

Simply put, the Phone Book.

The church I belong to has 2400 members. Plus a school. And they were completely left out of the phone book a couple of years ago. Two years in a row. Not a single listing in the white pages, yellow pages, any pages.

It's not a new church, it's over 40 years old. We did not move, change phone numbers, nothing. But according to the publisher of our local phone book, we did not exist.

Since it is published once every 12 months, we were stuck.

The phone book people are trying to get us to try their online service. Is it any better? One of the features of the internet is that it is easy to update and keep current.

So today I tried it. I put in Radio Stations. The results are a joke. Except it isn't funny. It's stupid. The information is so outdated and incorrect. It's worthless. It cannot be trusted.

Here's what ended up with when I entered Radio Stations in the search box on for Fort Wayne, Indiana (Click here):

  • 45 listings
  • Page 1: Listing for WHWD. Station has been gone for 10 years.
  • Page 2: Listing for Sunny 106. Station has been gone for over 4 years.
  • Page 3: 2 listings for WFCV, one with the wrong street address.
  • Page 3: Listing for WFJZ. Station has been gone for at least 3 years.
  • Page 3: Listing for WJFX. Wrong Address.
  • Page 4: 2 Listings for WSHI. Station has been gone for over 4 years.
  • Page 4: Listing for Allen County Public Library?
  • Page 4: Listing for Comcast Spotlight?
  • Page 4: Listing for WANE-TV
  • Page 4: 2 listings for WFFT-TV
  • Page 4: Listing for WFWA-PBS 39 (Another Television Station)
  • Page 5: All 5 listings are for WISE-TV, WPTA-TV.
That's 17 incorrect out of 45.

Also important is what is missing: No listing for WGL, WKJG, WBTU, WNUY, WLYV, WNHT, WVBB. These missing stations have nearly 40% of the audience according to the Arbitron Audience Survey for Spring 2008.

I do not trust the phone book and now you know why.

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