Advice/thoughts on advertising flyers please

I am thinking of getting some flyers printed to advertise my local IT support business. These will be put under car windscreen wipers at local events and to make them stand out we have come up with the idea of making them look like parking tickets. Two questions have come up:

1. Is anyone aware of any laws that would stop me doing this ? Only the colour/shape/layout will look like a parking ticket, we won't be using any words like contravention/amende etc.

2. My other half thinks that someone on seeing a ticket will immediately have a negative reaction and so they will reject the idea of using our services straight away. I think they will see it as a joke and will be tempted to remember us.

Any comments appreciated


No, au contraire I'm afraid. This is a household who go to markets, vide greniers and simply into public parking areas and essentially collect more paper for lighting fires. If it is under wipers, it is not welcome. I believe they gave up having windscreen parking fine tickets years ago for exactly that reason in many departments. Post box, given the amount of pub we get we could mourn for lost forests.

What works is going to places where people have a coffee, beer, or and having them on the table. Sitting there comfortably they can be read. Fly posting next to things for a quine, football, rugby and so on works for a few people too.

Having worked in sales promotion, the first thing people ask on receiving literature is. “what’s in it for me?”

A clear message on one side and a calendar and list of useful numbers should ensure your flyer is retained. Credit card sized and laminated may ensure it is carried in a wallet. Lamination is the key…people do not throw away laminated literature.

Advertising is supposed to arouse pleasant feelings to be successful…a parking ticket does not…

Good luck!

I think it's a great idea Steve, although ( like most I gather, I would be pretty hacked off if this 'spoof' appeared under on my windscreen ) People are pretty precious when it comes to their cars, must be some sort of territorial thing?

The 'manual' hand out in my view works best, especially in busy areas, as the recipient doesn't want to offend. And again the key is 'unit cost' of the printed items. If you elect for a large 'Lithographic' print run the unit cost per item drops dramatically. So standardise the blurb, and second people to do 'street' drops for you. You might also consider some incentive: 'free' laptop health check for the first 10 (?) people to contact? or whatever.

Thanks Valerie. Am waiting for more feedback before I decide, so far it is 50/50 (only a total of 4 opinions though)

Hi Steve, I totally see your point from an attention grabbing basis but I think your OH might be right. Some people may appreciate the tactic but there will definitely be a few who might just screw the flyer up and bin it out of annoyance once they realise what it actually is and I don't think you want to alienate anyone. People will automatically look to see what the flyer's about if it's under the wiper - I always do - and then decide on its usefulness. The actual idea is very good as all local PC owners will think 'Aha, handy, he's only down the road'.