Local advertising refers to optimizing delivering ads according to the position of the recipient (client, user). It is used in Geo (marketing). Local search (Internet) often fuels uses optimization for targeting the advertising.
Any small business owner gets excited when they hear the words "Free Advertising." For brick and mortar business, and even online businesses that cater to local audiences, free local advertising is ideal. However, some methods of free local advertising may be against the law. This article will examine several of the popular local advertising methods that may bring trouble instead of new business. Free Local Advertising - Flyers or Pamphlets on Cars
If you have ever attended a large event such as a concert or a fair, or parked for any length of time at a mall or shopping center, changces are you have found a flyer or pamphlet tucked under your windshield wiper on your car. If you are a business owner, you might be attracted to the potential to reach so many local people so easily.
However, pamphleting cars can get you in trouble with the law. Depending on local ordinances, anti-soliciting laws may make putting flyers on cars illegal. If done at a privately owned area, such as a store parking lot, you can get in even more trouble. Since, out of advertising necessity, your contact information will be on the flyer, you will be able to be tracked down and fined for soliciting or littering.
Free Local Advertising - Distributing Flyers on the Street
Many of the same law and regulations that would apply to pamphletting cars would also apply to distributing flyers on the street. You cannot stand in a public place and solicit for business or non-profit without a license or permission to do so. Since the vast number of flyers end up littering the ground, your free local advertising could also be cited for contributing to that problem.
Free Local Advertising - Tucking Flyers in Mailboxes
Unless you are an employee of the United States Postal Service and you are delivering mail, you cannot touch a mailbox that is not your own. It is against federal law to tamper or use postal mail boxes for any other purpose, such as distributing flyers. Even tucking a folded brochure behind the mailbox flag is against the law. This manner of free local advertising will get you in trouble.
Free Local Advertising - Posting Signs on Telephone Poles
Telephone poles are the property of either the city in which they stand or the utility company that controls them. They are privately owned property and are usually protected by city ordinances or laws that prohibit posting of signs. Many communities do make allowances for temporary signs, such as yard sale ads or lost pet flyers. Posting your business sign to get some free local advertising, and not removing it after the prescribed time may cause legal trouble for you.