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What Would J.R. Hartley Do? Yell Must Sort Its Digital Strategy

“Management must sort out the web-based proposition, gain more credibility with small and medium-sized businesses and take more cost out,” one big Yell Group shareholder tells the Financial Times.

The paper says shareholders “have agreed to a new strategy for the struggling directories company, it includes a rationalisation of the business, further cost-cutting and heftier investment in digital”.

The group is caught in a typical quandary of declines from its Yellow Pages print business not being offset by its growing digital revenue. Yell.com lacks the same “go-to” status its book had in its heyday – for many, the gateway to local business search is now search itself (ie. Google), not directory.

Yell.com’s new TV ad certainly brings a smile to those of us who recall its classic J.R. Hartley commercial. But that doesn’t mean we still won’t just use Google (NSDQ: GOOG) instead…