NEW YORK - Yellow Book USA Inc. has violated federal and state laws by airing false and misleading ads, Verizon Directories Corp. charged in a suit filed today. Verizon challenged Yellow Book's national broadcast and cable ads that claim more people use its yellow pages than the Verizon SuperPages yellow pages.
Verizon also accused Yellow Book of instructing its sales force to use erroneous statistics in selling yellow pages advertising.
The suit -- filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York -- seeks a judgment and court order that would require Yellow Book to retract and correct its false advertising. Verizon also seeks a jury trial to recover damages and court costs.
"Yellow Book's advertising is deceiving business owners," said Lester Chu, vice president - marketing and strategic planning for Verizon Directories. "Advertisers in the yellow pages select directories based on results. They should be able to trust directory sales claims. Contrary to Yellow Book's promotion and sales pitch, third-party research proves that more consumers are keeping and using Verizon SuperPages to find the products and services they need."
Chu pointed out that 2003 independent third-party research shows that, on average, among 100 directories studied, 67 percent of consumers polled used Verizon SuperPages and only 16 percent used other directories. In the top 39 directory areas where Verizon competes with Yellow Book, 66 percent of consumers used Verizon SuperPages, compared with 18 percent who used Yellow Book.
"The research consistently shows substantially higher usage-rates for Verizon SuperPages than for Yellow Book in major markets where we compete," Chu added. "The claim in the ads that 'more people choose Yellow Book than the Other Book' violates truth-in-advertising laws."
The suit against Yellow Book alleges violation of the federal Lanham Act, which allows business competitors to sue for false advertising. Verizon also claims commercial disparagement, unfair competition and false advertising under New York law.
About Verizon SuperPages and SuperPages.com
Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a content provider for communications products and services, with approximately $4.3 billion in revenues. The company produces Verizon SuperPages, the nation's leading yellow pages, and Verizon SuperPages.com (www.superpages.com), the nation's number 1 Internet directory and shopping resource. SuperPages On The Go is the only nationwide yellow and white pages directory offered on Get It Now services through Verizon Wireless. The company also is the largest publisher of Hispanic directories in the U.S. and the first to provide a Hispanic online shopping resource, SuperPages.com en Espanol (www.superpages.com/espanol).Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (www.verizon.com)