THE YELLOW PAGES WAS ONCE the first stop for finding a plumber. We’d flick through the pages to find an insurance broker. J.R. Hartley managed to find a copy of his book, Fly Fishing, by flicking through the Yellow Pages.
The chunky yellow book was packed with loads of contacts providing services. Back in the day, the yellow pages would have a usual place next to the dial telephone. In many homes, both the Telephone Book and Yellow Pages (perched on a table) would greet you when entering the hallway.
The frustration of J.R. Hartley and a winning advert
Sadly J.R. Hartley didn’t have a copy of his own book and ended up trawling from bookshop to bookshop trying to find one. His attempt to find a copy proved to be draining and unsuccessful – the weary look on the well-spoken, elderly gentleman touched millions of hearts.
Luckily his caring daughter comes to the rescue by recommending Yellow Pages … the rest of the story is a lovely piece of heartwarming advertising history.
Big and useful
The yellow pages was huge and chunky. A massive thud on the doorstep was notice of it’s arrival! The chunky book of contacts and services had other uses too. That ‘just out of reach’ book on top shelf became reachable with the help of the yellow pages. Over the years the yellow pages has also been successfully used a doorstop!
Nowadays the yellow pages is incredibly slim – it’s been on a serious diet for the last 28 years. If we need a plumber, the internet will probably be our first port of call. The yellow pages is useless as a height booster or a doorstop these days. J.R. Hartley may find it a tad tricky finding a bookshop that stocks a copy of Fly Fishing in the trimmed 2018 version.
Enjoyed the blog? A nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years are featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Get the rundown here: Enter the Underpass
Catch the J.R. Hartley advert here: Yellow Pages ad featuring J.R. Hartley