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Yellow Pages fingers get makeover and go digital to reflect future growth

MONTREAL - The fingers are still doing the walking for the Yellow Pages, but they've had a makeover as the company looks for increased digital growth with more web-based services.

MONTREAL - The fingers are still doing the walking for the Yellow Pages, but they've had a makeover as the company looks for increased digital growth with more web-based services.

Now known as Yellow Media Inc. (TSX:YLO.UN), the Montreal-based company unveiled its new logo on Tuesday as a simple pair of fingers. Gone from the logo is the directory the fingers had been strolling across for generations.

"Our logo was too traditional," president and CEO Marc Tellier said in an interview.

"Let's recognize that the world has changed and that our logo is living in an environment that wasn't even contemplated."

Yellow Pages is looking at small and medium-sized businesses for more online growth and for growth on mobile devices such as BlackBerrys and iPhones.

"Most of our new revenue streams are all digital related," he said. "We think we're going to see an acceleration of our digital revenue growth, our digital revenue mix."

Yellow Pages has already said it expects to have 20 per cent of its revenues come from digital applications this year.

Tellier said print and digital revenues should be equal in about five to seven years.

However, he said its print advertising directories aren't being abandoned and although their growth has eroded, they haven't suffered as much as their perception.

"It's not shrinking at anywhere near the perceived rate," he said, adding they haven't "shrivelled up and died."

The Montreal-based company still prints its household brand Yellow Pages directory and Tellier said some businesses such as plumbing and roofing still work in that format for consumers.

Yellow Media Inc. also owns the Trader classified-ad publications business.

Tellier said Yellow Pages has about 400,000 small and medium-sized business customers and only about 42 per cent have websites, with surveys showing about half haven't been satisfied with their sites.

As a result, it will begin offering its a webpage production service later this year to these businesses, Tellier said.

He hopes his company will become a "one-stop destination" for small and medium-sized business for all of their digital needs, including email marketing, ratings and reviews for businesses, coupons and promotions and search engine marketing as well as video production.

"By definition, we are going to see more and more of our revenue shift to digital."

The directory publisher recently has made two acquisitions to boost its Internet presence and target the increasing number of smartphone users.

Yellow Media acquired Clear Sky Media Inc., owner of bargaining hunting site RedFlagDeals.com, technology shopping comparison site PriceCanada.com, and Scarlett Lounge, which features fashion, beauty and travel deals aimed at women.

It also announced it bought the 411.ca brand and acquired a stake in 411 Local Search Corp. and Restaurantica.com, a restaurant and dining community.

Generations that remember the Yellow Pages jingle will begin hearing it again, but without the words, "Let Your Fingers Do the Walking..."

It, too, has been updated for the times.

"You'll see that we're skewing our advertising to the very, very young," Tellier said.