Yellow Pages: 30 years of memorable ads

As the Yellow Pages plans to cease printing in 2019, Campaign takes a look at some of the brand's most memorable ads from the last three decades.

"JR Hartley" (1983)

Previously Yellow Pages was seen as a directory used mainly for distress and emergency needs instead of a leisure and pleasure guide. But that all changed with the arrival of J R Hartley, a pensioner who finds a copy of his out-of-print book on fly fishing thanks to Yellow Pages.

The ad was created by Abbott Mead Vickers after winning the account in 1983. The agency and client would work together for more than two decades before splitting in 2006.

"Bike" (1985)

A boy wants a racing bike, but his dad doesn't seem impressed... (spoiler alert: dad is having him on and is trying to surprise him). Thankfully, the shop can keep one until the weekend, when dad picks it up and watches his son ride down the street.

"Signal box" (1985)

Ben is looking for an R186 signal box for his train set, but the shop only has one left. So he raids his piggy bank, cycles up to the model train shop to pick it up and returns home. But who was the gift really for?

"French polishers" (1991)

So many memorable moments squeezed into an ad as the "hangover from hell" is (almost) completely fixed with the help of Yellow Pages.

Mistletoe (1992)

A classic Christmas ad in which a creative use for Yellow Pages is found for one of life's little problems...

Cleaners (1998)

"They've completely ransacked the place!" assumes a concerned neighbour who mistakes a messy flat for a burglary.

"Haircut" and "Yoga" (2003)

Cold Feet star James Nesbitt was recruited to shake up the brand's advertising, with the actor playing up on the show's hapless Adam character. Nesbitt uses the Yellow Pages to get out of tricky situtations.


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