The name and concept of “yellow pages” came about in 1883, when a printer in Cheyenne, Wyoming, working on a regular telephone directory ran out of white paper and used yellow paper instead. In 1886, Reuben H. Donnelley created the first official Yellow Pages directory.
Today, the expression yellow pages is used globally, in both English-speaking and non-English speaking countries. In the United States, it refers to the category, while in some other countries it is a registered name and therefore a proper noun. The term Yellow Pages is not a registered name within the United States and is freely used by many companies. Telephone directories using the official Internet address “yellowpages.xx” exist in 75 different countries. They are edited by many different phone companies and directory publishers, mostly independent from each other.
Advertising in yellow pages directories requires payment in full prior to printing or may be billed monthly over the life of the contract, which is usually 12 months. Typically, a sales representative will assist the customer in creating their ad design and provides a Proof Copy for review and approval. Advertisers should be aware that many contracts have automatic renewal clauses and require action on the part of the advertiser to end future billing.