KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday December 21, 2016 – 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.