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A step up for a kiss

Posted in This months highlight on 01 Dec 2017

There have been many memorable adverts for the Yellow Pages over the years from JR Hartley searching for a copy of his book to French Polishers 'saving' the life of a teenage boy. Perhaps the one most people think of at this time of year is the Christmas one of the small boy and the mistletoe kiss from 1992.

The young chap tries to kiss a girl under some mistletoe, but he cannot quite reach, so he grabs a copy of the yellow pages to stand on and then he gets the kiss he's after.

The archival set of Yellow Pages is kept here at the BRO and we thought we would see if we had the copy used in the advert. Not literally the copy used, rather the edition. We are not entirely sure if it is the Reading 1992/3 edition shown here as it is difficult to make out, but it does look like it. Over the years editions have become thinner so these would not have been as useful to the little boy for getting his kiss. Thankfully the 1992 edition was just the right thickness to give him the height he needed.

The first separate Yellow Pages volumes were produced in 1969. They only covered a handful of major cities: Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester; those for other places were produced as part of local telephone directories.

Back in 1992, if one wanted to find a supplier of mistletoe one would probably have flicked through the Floral and Plant section, or perhaps Florists. It is still possible to search for mistletoe suppliers in this way, at least until 2019 when the company behind the iconic yellow book no longer produces hard copies.