17.5 million unwanted business directories as Brits look to the web

A new poll has revealed that 35% of Brits no longer want to receive printed business directories at home – preferring instead to look up information on the Internet or better still receive recommendations from friends. The results of the poll commissioned by local search website www.welovelocal.com and conducted by YouGov revealed that 67% trust word of mouth more than advertising.

Max Jennings, founder of www.welovelocal.com , commented: “more than 17.5 million* unwanted directories are produced every year which, if stacked on top of each other, would be over 50 times the height of Mount Everest†. The waste is staggering, particularly when this survey demonstrates that 51% of all British adults are now using the Internet to find local businesses.”

www.welovelocal.com is a local listings website which harnesses the
power of word of mouth online, helping people find the best businesses in their area by reading reviews and recommendations from people they can trust. Whether you’re searching for a plumber or an Indian restaurant with www.welovelocal.com you can make an
informed decision by reading the feedback posted by people who have already used the service.

www.welovelocal.com gives local business an invaluable web presence to connect with new customers. Business owners get a free, customisable listing where they can add up-to-date, useful information about their company including photos, opening hours and service details. Businesses can update their information regularly and even respond to reviews, providing an opportunity for a two-way dialogue to take place between businesses and their customers via the web. www.welovelocal.com currently lists over 1M businesses nationwide.

Headline Stats from YouGov Poll Commissioned by welovelocal.com

• 35% of the British public would prefer not to receive printed business directories at home.

• 32% of the British public have not used a printed business directory to look up local businesses or service in the last 6 months.

• 51% of the British public use the Internet most to find local businesses and services.

• 67% of the British public trust word of mouth more than an advert when trying to find local businesses.
• 17.5M+ - Number of unwanted printed business directories delivered to British homes each year.

• 2,833+ - Number of miles they would stretch when placed end to end‡

All figures, unless otherwise stated below, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,974 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th January 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

* Estimate based on distribution figures found at Yell.com and ThompsonDirectories.com, two leading business directory publishers. 28 million Yellow Pages and 22 million Thomson Local books are delivered annually = 50 million business directories.

† Approximate Height of a Yellow Pages = 0.05 metres, Approximate Height of Thomson Local = 0.035 metres 0.05 × 0.35 × 28,000,000 = 490,000 metres, 0.035 × 0.35 × 22,000,000 = 269500 metres
Height of Mount Everest = 8,848 metres, (490000 + 269500) / 8848 = 85.83
(Figure lowered to 50 times to account for variation in directory height.)

‡ Approximate Length of a Yellow Pages = 0.29m, Approximate Length of a Thomson Local = 0.27m 0.29 × 0.35 × 28,000,000 = 2,482,000 metres, 0.27 × 0.35 × 22,000,000 = 2,079,000 metres
(2,079,000+2,482,000)/1609.45 = 2,833.9 miles

Information for editors

For a more detailed overview of the poll findings visit:


For press information please contact Rachel Corcoran or Fran Pearce on 01242 269170 ext 253 / 251 rachel.corcoran@redsignal.co.uk or fran.pearce@redsignal.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd January 2008