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FLOW In Trouble With Customers In Jamaica After Publishing Private Numbers

Yellow Pages Prints Alternative Directory Cover After Complaints About Dancehall Image

First it was the cover, now it’s the contents of the 2016-2017 Yellow Pages telephone directory that is creating problems in Jamaica.

The telephone numbers and other information of hundreds of FLOW Jamaica customers who have been paying J$2,400 (US$ 18.63) per year to keep their numbers private, has been released in the directory, a month after a controversy surrounding the depiction of scantily clad women dancing with men in a dancehall street session, on the front of the publication.

Some senior government ministers and top business leaders are among those affected.

In a statement to the Jamaica Gleaner, FLOW Jamaica said it “regrets the inclusion of the private listing of some customers in the 2016-2017 telephone directory”.

“We unreservedly apologize for this,” the company said. “We wish to assure our customers that we value their privacy and are taking all the necessary steps to address this as quickly as possible and prevent a recurrence.”

Ian Neita, the chief executive officer of Global Directories Limited, the publishers of the directory, declined to speak to the newspaper and directed all queries to FLOW.

Late last month, Global Directories Limited gave in to pressure and produced an alternative cover to its telephone directory on the heels of a stern rebuke from a local lobby group about the original front.

Neita had rejected suggestions that the picture was “offensive”, saying it was merely depicting culture and was not meant to insult any group.

But he said the company had taken a “commercial and principled” decision to print an alternative cover for institutions such as churches and schools or any others who would be offended by the image.

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yellow-pagesGlobal Directories Limited in Jamaica gave into pressure and produced an alternative cover to its 2017 telephone directory on the heels of a stern rebuke from a local lobby group about an “offensive” dancehall picture.

At issue was a reggae scene showing scantily clad women dancing with men at what appears to be a typical street session in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society condemned the image, charging that it was encouraging “behaviour that was not necessarily ideal.”

Chairman of the coalition, clergyman Dr Wayne West told the Jamaica Gleaner the cover was out of place given the challenges facing young people in terms of values.

dr-wayne-westDR. WAYNE WEST (PHOTO: JAMAICA GLEANER)

“We thought that what was displayed there wasn’t something that was beneficial,” he said.
“We didn’t think that scene, which was sort of a dancehall scene, was ideal. It wasn’t the best thing that could have been done for the Yellow Pages – something which is so widely distributed and which is supposed to be the product of a company that should be seeking to elevate rather than to encourage behaviour that is not necessarily ideal.”

Chief Executive Officer of Global Directories Ian Neita however rejected suggestions that the picture was “offensive”, saying it was merely depicting culture and was not meant to insult any group.

ian-neita

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF GLOBAL DIRECTORIES IAN NEITA

He said the cover, which is displayed on the directory for Kingston and St Andrew, would remain, but the company had taken a “commercial and principled” decision to print an alternative cover for institutions such as churches and schools or any others who would be offended by the image.

“A church may be listed in the book [and] once they advertise in the book. In a kind of way, they become a co-sponsor. If it were a private magazine that we were putting forward in the public space, I think it would be a little bit different. I don’t think we’re resiling from a principled position by saying, ‘Hey, I’ll give you an alternative’.”

“I’d like to think we kind of took the high road,” Neita added.

However, a University of the West Indies dancehall expert Dr Donna Hope challenged the position taken by the lobby group.

Hope argued that the dancehall culture was a very important part of Jamaica youth culture and “it was an appropriate kind of image in a country where dancehall continues to provide…information about who we are as a people.”

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Comment by PETER MCKENZIE on December 22, 2016 at 3:03am

Bob Marley should be on the cover

Comment by Suzette G Thomas-Paul on December 21, 2016 at 4:57pm
That Good for flow they Rob the people of Trinidad an never give them back a cent God don't sleep, so pay the people of Jamaica now
Comment by Roots aka TJ What De Ras on December 21, 2016 at 11:24am
Ok

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