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Leaflet dropping and the law

Leaflet distribution rules

1024 512 Myles Robinson

Leaflet-dropping rules in the UK

You have reached the right place if you are looking for answers to questions like “is door leaflet distribution illegal?” or to learn about the UK’s leaflet distribution printed material laws.

The Direct Mail Company is the UK’s industry leader in leaflet distribution for promotional material. We can answer all your questions about leaflet dropping and the law.

Please send us a message if you need help answering your question in this article. Our team of leaflet distribution specialists will be happy to answer all your queries about the UK leaflet drop rules.

Get a leaflet distribution quote quickly here >

Distribution of leaflets and the law

Free printed material, also known as flyer distribution, is legal in most cases.

However, permission may be required in certain circumstances. Leaflet distribution companies will be aware of any illegal leaflet-dropping rules.

This guide will help you understand the legal requirements if you plan on distributing leaflets or printed materials as part of your advertising campaign.

Why do you need permission for leaflet distribution?

Leaflet distribution is handing out leaflets in the street or leaflets to homes. This is also known by the term “door drop”. Leaflet distribution is legal in most cases.

There are no leaflet distribution licenses or permissions required. You may need to consult your local council before you distribute flyers.

You will need permission to distribute leaflets if they are handed out in public, also known as hand-to-hand flyer distribution or hand-out leaflets. If this is the case, you need permission to distribute leaflets in the street. You should also be able to check the local regulations in the area where you are going to distribute leaflets.

Manchester, for example, allows leaflets to be distributed free of charge with consent from the council. This depends on whether the business is small or large. Other councils like Leeds allow leaflet distribution on the streets but only in certain areas. They also charge a fixed amount for each badge.

What do you think the best way is to distribute leaflets without permission?

The following methods of leaflet distribution are permissible without permission:

  • Leaflets are distributed via letterboxes
  • Within a building, bus, or taxi
  • For a charity
  • Leaflets that are based on religious, political or other beliefs

Door-drop leaflets are the most efficient form of leaflet distribution. Also known as “letterbox marketing”, it is also called door-dropping leaflets to homes. Because the leaflet must be picked up at the doormat and used.

Leaflet drop companies can help you get your leaflets to the right homes.

Additional benefits include:

  • There are many design options – Anything that fits in the letterbox can be delivered, including catalogues, menus and larger A4 pieces.
  • You can target it very precisely – if your distribution is just via GPS tracking services or street handouts, you cannot be sure you are reaching the right people. Door to door distribution of leaflets is targeted and reaches the most homes that are likely to take an interest in your leaflet.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act

The UK government introduced the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act in 2005. It was designed to stop leaflet littering and hold those responsible accountable. Local authorities can now control flyer distribution in their cities and towns. Regulations range from voluntary consent to the need to purchase a license.

Leaflet Distribution Penalties & the Appeal Process

A fixed penalty of up to £80 and a maximum fine of £2,500 can be imposed for failure to obtain the proper licence to distribute leaflets on the streets.

You can also face criminal charges if you fail to obtain a license. Your licence will be cancelled, and all leaflets printed in violation of the regulations will be confiscated until any legal proceedings are concluded.

If you have applied for a license and were denied, you can appeal to the local magistrate’s Court. They will decide whether they granted permission or if additional conditions are placed on how, when, and what your leaflet is distributed. You may be eligible to receive a discount on fees for small-scale or community events.

Get started with your next campaign now:

This is one of the most effective and efficient ways to ensure that you adhere to the law when leafleting distribution. Our online leaflet distribution tool and delivery service fully comply with all UK laws. We are experts in leaflet advertising.

The Direct Mail Company allows you to book an entire campaign online within minutes. Then you can leave the rest to our experts. Royal Mail will deliver your leaflets along with your daily mail or by our trusted leaflet droppers. We organize the targeted and compliant distribution.

We use an outside company to carry out back check reports so we can ensure you a percentage of people have received the leaflets.

Could you send over the postcode area you would like to target, and we can get a residential house count for you? We can print for you, too. Could you send your artwork as a PDF with a 3mm bleed, and we will do the rest for you?


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