Lawsuits Filed Over Phone Book-Era 'AAA' Businesses

Jan. 17, 2020

The phone books are gone, but the "AAA" business names remain. Now the lawsuits have followed.

Jan. 17, 2020—Most readers will remember the age of the phone book, which was a printed directory of regional phone numbers and addresses for businesses and people.

That information exists on the internet now, which saves a lot of book space in shops. But the phone book's legacy lives on, occasionally with businesses whose names begin with a series of As. The more As, the better chance the business would be at the front of the alphabetically sorted phone book.

Many of those names still remain, and that might come at some legal peril. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on a crop of lawsuits popping up against businesses that are named with a trio of As. The example in the Sentinel story is AAA Wholesale Transmissions.

The entity bringing the lawsuits? The American Automobile Association—colloquially known as AAA.

The Sentinel reported that as AAA has branched out into lots of different services bearing its name, the organization has filed more than 400 infringement lawsuits to claim that those businesses with all the As are trying to confuse customers into thinking that AAA has endorsed them.

Not so, at least according to AAA Wholesale Transmissions. The owner told the Sentinel that he just wanted to be at the front of the phone book 20 years ago. Hence, the name.

Having a bunch of As in your name won't help with internet-based phone directories. To get a leg-up in that world, check out the September NOLN story, "Make Sure Your Business is Visible to Drive-By Searchers."

Photo 212745127 © Marchmeena |
Dreamstime Xxl 212745127
Rebecca Sampson, Enchantment Photography
The Right Combination TJ Brough promotes the work of the Lube Quick and Reliance Automotive team through marketing tactics that combine ideas old and new.
Photo 60120874 © Konstanttin |
Courtesy of SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service
Missy Fant Photography
Oil Stop 31