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Leaving leaflets under Car window-wipers for website promotion
In the UK, in a shop car park, would this be legal?

 10:32 pm on Aug 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm starting a community site on green widgets.

There's a shop nearby that is related to green widgets, that has a large car park, which usually has a lot of customer cars in it...

Would it be illegal to leave fliers on people's windscreens?

The targetting really appeals to me, as it's a relevant audience and I'm just starting the site up, so could do with as many people as possible joining. I could ask permission of the shop, but doubt they'd allow me, or would expect a large payment.

Perhaps if I offered a competition prize on the flier, for a voucher in the shop, both the customers and the shop would view the flier a little more favourably, as they'd both be getting / have the chance of getting something from it?



 10:51 pm on Aug 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I say go for it, I make business cards for my site and put them in books at the library and bookstores that are related to my area.


 10:58 pm on Aug 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I might have found the answer to this myself, albeit from a not very official source.

Basically a shop car-park can be seen as a "quasi-public" area, so until I am told not to leaflet there, it's not trespassing.

Also, leaving leaflets on windscreens shouldn't be a problem, unlike attaching stickers, which could be criminal damage, as it's too much work to remove them etc.

My next concern is it'll just annoy the people that I'm trying to get on the website! I guess they wouldn't necessarily have ever visited if it hadn't been for the leaflet anyway.

Sorry, partly thinking out-loud here! :)

Automan Empire

 2:18 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most U.S. shopping centers have rules against flyering cars, mainly because of littering as motorists discard unwanted flyers. Some localities may have ordinances regarding flyering. Keep those factors in mind, and if asked to stop, politely comply at once (and perhaps they won't demand you remove the flyers already left!)
One factor to consider is that some people are illogically posessive about their cars, and take great offense at someone despoiling it with a flyer. In my flyering days, I'd worry slightly more about getting my butt kicked than receiving a citation.
Another thing to consider is that, while targeted, this is not the most prestigious way to promote your business. For wide appeal advertisements, this may be okay, but may hurt sales for a more upscale product line.
Take these concerns into consideration, but do go out and flyer! This will certainly give you direct insight into the effectiveness of this type of campaign for your niche!


 12:33 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

While I've often considering using flyers to advertise my site, I recently realised that I immediately remove and throw away any flyers I find on my car. It's become second nature now, I don't even think about reading them.

However, they're cheap to produce and easy to distribute. Why not get a good stats program for your site, distribute the flyers and monitor the traffic levels. That's going to be the only true way of finding out if it's going to work!


 10:12 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd sooner have nice (funny, pretty, unique) sign mounted on my car or truck, and park it someplace conspicuous, than annoy people with this approach.

The sign is a lot less work and less likely to offend as many people. I'm blind to papers pasted on my car.


 3:14 am on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd guess the management of the green widget store might not be happy with leafleting in their parking lot. :)

Leavleting is kind of a low volume approach, inasmuch as you can target only a small number of potential visitors, and many of the recipients may not even be on the Web.

I'd spend my time on the web instead of parking lots - negotiating links from green widget sites, optimizing for green widget keywords, and perhaps spending a bit of money on some low-cost PPC keywords.


 3:32 am on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had a friend that use to go out and leave leaflets on cars for his web site, while he was doing it one day someone saw him messing with a car and called the cops because they thought he was trying to steal it. He almost ended up in jail, ever since then I have thought twice about touching any car that's not owned by me. But maybe I am just paranoid. :)

Before that happen I did try it out a few times and found it was not worth it. It was easier to go to stores and other pubic places and leave one on a bulletin board. It also sent more traffic to my web site. Many people look at bulletin boards for jobs or sales or whatever. Like it was said before many people get upset when you leave a leaflet on their car and most, if not all, never look at them.


 3:55 am on Sep 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Those leaflets get thrown to the streets, causing garbage. I despise them. It gives me YET ANOTHER THING TO DEAL WITH, which is to find a damn garbage can to dump it in.

If you're looking for cheap offline advertising that is outside of conventional methods, why not try bumvertising? With any luck a news crew will find it newsworthy and call attention to it on the six o'clock news. With more luck, your website might get publicized on the New York Times.

Paying homeless people to attach your advertising to their cardboard begging signs.

Smashing Young Man

 3:55 pm on Sep 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you have a Wal Mart supercenter near you - and who doesn't these days? - you can pin up a flyer on the cork boards most of them have up in the entrance.

Also, if you are a regular at any number of small businesses and are friendly with the employees there, they will often let you put a stack of business cards on the counter at the cash register/front desk.

Print up shirts for you, your family and friends to wear that sports your website's logo and url on the back.

Just use your imagination. There are a lot of ways to promote your website outside of the web itself. :)


 5:51 pm on Sep 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Bad idea!
Also, maybe it's just me, but what gives people the idea that it is OK to interfere with my car?


 9:41 pm on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would it be illegal to leave fliers on people's windscreens?

a) it's trespassing unless the vehicles are in a public parking area like on the street or a municipal parking lot, anything else is private property

b) it's technically littering or facilitating littering as most people toss them on the ground, which they wouldn't have done if you didn't put them there in the first place

c) it's tampering with a vehicle - you could damage the wiper arm or blade, belt buckles and buttons can scratch paint and people (like myself) that take good care of my car will go ballistic and rip you a new one on the phone or in person


 5:14 pm on Sep 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the U.S. people got hung for messing with an other man's horse...

Now... we no longer hang people for messing with a man's "horse"... but...


 11:53 pm on Sep 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've ditched this idea for precisely some of the reasons brought up in replies.

An alternative I've considered, but ultimately rejected is covering my car in ads for the site and then going 'shopping' in the relevant shop/s for a good half the day.


 12:29 am on Sep 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>I recently realised that I immediately remove and throw away any flyers I find on my car

I've rarely even looked at one, much less converted. Bad for branding, looks cheap, desperate and spammy (read: about to go belly-up). Do 'name-brand' companies do it? Hell no.

>>many of the recipients may not even be on the Web.

Not the ones that read the flyers at least.


This would qualify as bumvertising if you washed the windshields first. ;)


 3:20 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you don't mind driving around in an advertising vehicle, getting a professional paint job promoting your site would be a great idea, without the "desperate" apperance of leaving stuff on windshields. Parking it where you know interested people will congregate is a plus.

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