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Why does The Apprentice love the Yellow Pages?

November 3, 2010

Yes, I am loving The Apprentice again this year, with all its warts and foibles. But there's one thing that bugged me with the last series and looks like it's happening all over again ...why are the contestants seen clutching 4 inch thick copies of the Yellow Pages when they are looking for business or doing cold calling? What is going on? Why aren't they seen using the latest laptop and mobile technology?

There is a complete lack of the use of the internet by the contestants, when we all know that when it comes to needing information, we all turn to Google. So, when it comes to targeting specific customers in a specific location, why aren't they all over the internet. It especially annoys me when they're shown arguing in that people carrier, while one of them is always seen flicking through a Yellow Pages, marking stuff with a biro. Where is the use of any mobile technology?  All seems very old school to me.

In this digital age, I would have thought that the Yellow Pages is definitely the dinosaur of print media, so how come it is alive and kicking every week at peak viewing time. I came across a bit of research done in Australia which says that 93% of people use Google and only 7% use Yellow Pages when looking for products, services, suppliers etc. No surprise there and sheds no light on the matter in question.

One interesting fact I came across, is that in one of the contestant official bio's; while working in a call centre, Joanna Riley apparently " called every Leicester-based business in the Yellow Pages until she decided to become her own boss" . And last year that famous Sandhurst scholar's first words on leading his troops forward as project leader were, yes..... " Get me a Yellow Pages". Maybe the Yellow Pages are quietly funding the series, who knows...!

Either I am missing something, or the boys at the beeb have made a conscious decision to ban the use of the internet,on a quest to promote "Alan Sugar stylie" old school methodologies.

And I haven't even started on why there isn't a marketing task, which includes creating an online campaign, rather than always showing offline stuff like good old  posters and leaflets. Surely at some point The Apprentice needs to catch up with the digital age?

OK, forget iphones, ipads and Google search terms; even if they moved on to showing a brief clip of a contestant searching on yell.com, it would be a step in the right direction! What do you think?

Posted by Paul Latham
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