Two enterprising folks dropped by the Yellow Page Group corporate headquarters in Montreal and built a small mountain of more than 500 unwanted Yellow Page directories in front of it… and interviewed a YPG rep brave enough to defend the indefensible.

(How enterprising? One is Aimee Davison, who is currently blogging about doing 100 interesting jobs by the end of the year. The other is Kyle MacDonald, whom you may remember as the guy who traded a single red paper clip for a house.) (Not all at once. He traded steadily up.)

There’s a lot to like about this video, but let me single out just one thing: the fact that the corporate rep is there at all, and is allowed to make her case. That ultimately makes the piece far more effective and persuasive; you hear the pro-Yellow Pages argument, but see it contradicted by the video evidence the video-makers gathered.

The staggeringly bogus “only one per cent of Canadians opt out” argument might be my favourite moment, though. That number might well be accurate. But…

  • Given how little effort YPG puts into promoting their opt-out web page, and the fact you have to keep renewing your opted-out status, I’m pretty impressed that it’s that high.
  • And ask yourself: how high would it be if people had to opt in using the same process?

To opt out of getting the Yellow Pages:

Subscribe to SpeechList

Insight, advice and ideas for speechwriting, speaking and leadership communications — from my inbox to yours.

Thanks for signing up! Now just one more step: check your email inbox for a confirmation link, and you're all set!