Yellow Book Selects Trahan, Burden & Charles

Yellow Book USA, an independent publisher of business telephone directories, has awarded its advertising account to Trahan, Burden & Charles.

TB&C defeated an-other Baltimore agency, BrannBlau, an affiliate of Brann Worldwide, Deerfield, Ill., in the finals ofa three-month reviewto win the estimated$15-20 million account.

“Yellow Book is a brand still waiting to be built,” said client vice president of marketing Gordon Henry. “It doesn’t yet have the differentiation that’s due it, but we expect to change that.”

More than a dozen agencies, ranging in size from international network affiliates to independents, responded to Yellow Book’s initial request for proposal, client sources said. Marketing executives met with seven shops, before cutting back to two finalists earlier this month.

TB&C will launch a rebranding campaign early next year that will include advertising, public relations, direct marketing and interactive components.

Media buying will focus on mass-market consumer outlets; direct marketing and other initiatives will target prospective advertisers, according to Henry.

“We brought to the table all the disciplines they realized had to be integrated to move forward,” said TB&C chief executive officer Sandra Hillman. “We built on our creative as well as our direct response, public relations and public affairs expertise.”

Yellow Book, with annual revenue topping $400 million, is distributed to some 30 million consumers in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest. Its competition includes directories published by the Baby Bells and other independents.

The company, under chief executive Joseph Walsh, has expanded aggressively in the last decade, triggering the need, sources said, for outside marketing expertise.

“They want to jump a few levels,” said Hillman.

In the past, Yellow Book, which began in the 1930s as a family-owned operation serving towns on Long Island, N.Y., handled its marketing initiatives in-house.