Advertiser files class action against Yellow Book for deceptive trade practices

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Mar 8, 2011

MARSHALL – An East Texas businessman is suing Yellow Book, alleging the telephone directory is fraudulently misleading customers about the size of the ads they are purchasing.

Scott Ellis, individually and as a representative of all others similarly situated, filed a deceptive trade practices suit against Yellow Book Sales and Distribution Co. Inc. on March 2 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

According to the lawsuit, Ellis purchased a full-page business telephone directory display advertisement in the 2008-2009 edition of the Tyler/Smith County Yellow Book.

The next year, he signed a contract and purchased a full-page ad with additional listings for $1,198 per month. However, Ellis states that Yellow Book did not disclose that the listing he purchased would be downsized by approximately 26 percent for the new directory.

Ellis states the reduced page size made the ads more difficult to read and reduced the marketing effectiveness of the ad.

The proposed class will contain Texas consumers who purchased 2009-2010 or later Yellow Book reduced size display adverting or directory listings.

Yellow Book is accused of violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act by failing to notify consumers of the reduced ad size.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $5 million in damages, interest, court costs and attorney fees.

Ellis is represented by Addison attorney Charles E. Ames, Thomas A. Crosley Law Firm in San Antonio and Jeffrey T. Embry of Hossley & Embry in Tyler. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00138

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