Fly posting is a crime.
Often fly posting is carried out by people who are either unaware of the law, or who are seeking to promote goods, trade, events or their business in a cheap way to avoid the true cost of legitimate advertising channels.
Unlawful advertisements can come in a variety of forms and the main one of these is fly posters, but it can also include other forms such as stickers, signs, banners, billboards and mobile trailers.
Advertisements such as fly posters are often displayed without the consent of the ourselves and if placed on private property, also without the permission of the owner/occupier of the land.
Examples of locations they are often seen include -
- public highway including pavements and grass verges
- public open spaces
- street furniture for example -
- lamp posts
- street litter bins
- traffic lights
- directional and road traffic signs
- pedestrian barriers
- on private property land without the permission of the owner
What problems can unlawful advertisements cause
Unlawful advertisements such as fly posters are usually displayed at locations where they can be seen by the widest audience, more often on the highway or public land, which because of their location can –
- cause a nuisance, hazard or obstruction to pedestrians especially those who may use wheelchair, have visual impairments, or those with prams and pushchairs
- damage the highway (including street furniture)
- pose risks to road safety
- undermine legitimate advertisers
- degrade local street scene
- block access for street cleaning
- imposes unnecessary costs on us to remove
How to report unlawful advertisements
If you see someone for example placing a fly poster on street furniture you can report this to us using the form below.
We investigate reports against people responsible for displaying unlawful advertisements (in the form of fly posting) and take action, so long as we can identify and locate the person responsible.
If you witnessed anyone carrying out this activity, we will ask you to provide a witness statement. If you are unwilling to provide a witness statement, this may prevent us being able to take enforcement action. If this is the case we will confirm the reasons why this is not possible and will make arrangements to have the advertisements involved removed.
If you see someone using a vehicle to carry out fly posting, you can also report this using the below form. Please provide a description of the vehicle, including its registration number.
Any information we ask you to provide, will only be used to help us to take action against the person responsible. If you have confirmed you have photos or video footage relating to any incident, please keep this safe as you will be asked to provide this once you have completed this form.
You cannot use the below form to -
- request the removal of advertisements in the form of free standing advertisements such as A-Boards located outside or near business premises on the highway (this includes pavements and grass verges)
- enquiries for planning consent to display advertisements
Action against unlawful advertisements
We will respond to any information provided in confidence and will investigate reports and contact those responsible for any unlawful advertisements.
If enforcement action is taken we will recover costs incurred for the removal of any advertisements involved.
If we are unable to establish the person who displayed an advert, or the person benefiting from any advertisement these will be immediately removed without notice and disposed.
Advertising guidelines for businesses
Not all advertisements are illegal.
As long as guidelines are followed, conditions complied with and consent/permissions obtained, you may be able to advertise your event.
Charity or Community events
If you are holding a community event or for charitable purposes, consent may be granted to display advertisements and temporary notices.
If you wish to enquire whether consent is required and permission would be granted, you can do so by contacting our Planning Department and Major Projects Team by calling 01482 300 300.
If consent is obtained, you must obtain confirmation in writing for the advertisements to be displayed on the highway, public land or open spaces.
Who is responsible for unlawfully displayed advertisements
Any legal responsibility and liability associated with an unlawfully displayed advertisement remains with the business or event concerned.
If you display advertisements unlawfully this may result in the following action for each advertisement involved -
- £150 fixed penalty
- prosecution and a maximum penalty of £2,500
Enforcement action can be taken against any beneficiary of the advertisement displayed for example event organiser, venue owner (and in certain circumstance the landowner on which the advertisements are being placed) and/or the person responsible for affixing the advertisement.
How to pay a fixed penalty
HM Government has published for outdoor advertisements and signs.
Access the gov.uk website for further information.
If you wish to contact us about advertising and sponsorships opportunities. Please call us on and ask to speak to our Communications and Marketing Team 01482 300 300.