Yellow Pages Group Signs Martin For Image Overhaul

The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., topped a national field to become the first agency of record for the Yellow Pages Publishers Association.
According to the client, the account has a $30 million budget. The agency has been charged with producing a broadcast and print campaign that will be tested this fall and roll out nationally in 1999. Agency president Mike Hughes will serve as creative director on the business.
The client said the other finalists, from an original list of 12, were Bozell and TBWA Chiat/Day, both New York, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Foote, Cone & Belding, both San Francisco. Goodby and TBWA withdrew before final presentations for undisclosed reasons, YPPA said.
The review was initiated because the YPPA has seen a slight decline in consumer usage over the last five years. As a result, the group has crafted an ambitious ad mission.
“Our challenge to the agencies was a goal of 25 percent growth over the next three years,” said YPPA executive vice president of marketing Clint Pollard. “We think that is attainable, though we realize it is a very aggressive goal.”
Pollard said the increasing number of information outlets, such as the Internet, had “inundated” consumers with choices and accounted for the sluggishness in YPPA’s numbers.
“The Yellow Pages have been such a part of our lexicon for so many years,” he said. “There’s a plethora of new sources for information that might be considered a little sexier and more up-to-date. The fact is we’ve done a good job of keeping up with societal and marketing trends, but we haven’t done a good job of informing the public of those changes.”
“People haven’t forgotten about the Yellow Pages, but we need to get them thinking about them differently,” said agency chairman and chief executive officer John Adams.
YPPA is a Denver-based trade association whose members generate 95 percent of the Yellow Pages revenue in North America.