What's Bugging You?

What's bugging you? Advertising flyers

Thursday, July 08, 2010

They get left in mailboxes, slipped under doors, left on the fence. They're advertising flyers, and they're bugging a lot of viewers. But is there a way to keep them from piling up on your property?

You get home from work and you find them on your door: ads for pizzas, landscaping, house-painting, all sorts of things. ABC7 received a number of e-mails from people who want it to stop.

"The stuff just piles up on the door step, and there's no way to stop it," said Fountain Valley resident Cheryl Harrington. "Every time you come home, there's a pile of stuff waiting, and it's not even real stuff. Sometimes it's stuff you've gotten over and over.

Harrington says she's tried over and over to stop it. She called the city several times to see what can be done.

"Most cities you won't do anything about it," said Harrington. "They say it's up to you. Put up a no-soliciting sign. If they keep dropping it off, you can call the individual companies, who of course just laugh at you."

Eyewitness News called several flyer distribution companies and only one returned a call.

A company in Tarzana wouldn't let Eyewitness News on the property and no one would comment on camera.

After the unannounced visit, the company did call back. Eyewitness News tried for several weeks to set up an interview.

Eyewitness News asked the company to go on camera to give its point of view, but they refused, saying that they simply saw no benefit for them in doing that.

On the phone they said that they think some people actually like these flyers, and if they see a "no-soliciting" sign they respect that.

Some companies will put flyers anywhere they can. In one neighborhood they were found on car windows.

"This is trash because a lot of people throw them away on the street," said L.A. resident Alicia Rivera.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several times that these flyers are protected as freedom of speech and ruled against several local laws that tried to stop them.

Even if you do have a no-soliciting sign, they can drop them off.

Distributors can't, however, put them inside your mailbox. That's a violation of postal laws.

What you can do is call the businesses that are advertising using these flyers and complain about it.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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