OK, so a lot has been written about how American Idol is broadcast advertising’s last, best hope. And now comes word that the show is influencing another (though admittedly much less sexy) sector: directory advertising. According to AT&T, the largest publisher of Yellow Pages in the country, listings for vocal music instruction have jumped 19 percent since 2001. (The official category is Music Instruction—Vocal.) “Yellow Pages headings mirror American pop culture,” AT&T Yellow Pages CEO Dennis Payne says in a release touting the findings. “They reflect what’s trendy and what’s tired as the number of advertisers in certain categories swells, falls or remains steady.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that all this new advertising is having much of an effect. Though I haven’t watched since the “Velvet Teddy Bear” won in season two, I’m told that the first few weeks of each season, starring the William Hungs of the world, are still the best part.
—Posted by Aaron Baar