Distributing leaflets and other printed materials


It is an offence to distribute 'free printed matter' within Oxford without our consent.

This includes:

  • Leaflets
  • Printed balloons
  • Printed stickers
  • Printed carrier bags
  • Printed wristbands
  • Printed T-shirts/clothing
  • Printed Carrier Bags
  • Printed Baseball Caps

Examples of activities that would require our consent are:

  • a promoter for a nightclub giving out flyers to passing members of the public promoting an event at a venue
  • the owner of a shop giving out leaflets to passing members of the public promoting the sale of goods at their premises
  • an estate agent who leaves a box of property newspapers on the street at the entrance to their premises
  • a board left outside a college promoting a theatre production that has a pocket containing leaflets attached to it
  • a pile of flyers left on top of a piece of street furniture or a window ledge for passing members of the public to pick up
  • a promotional stand set up in the street from which free leaflets are available promoting tourist activities such as bus rides or walking tours
  • a promoter placing leaflets under the windscreen wipers of parked cars in a park and ride car park

Exemptions and summary consent

We allow distribution of printed matter without any further consent if it is:

  • for the benefit of a charity,
  • for political purposes
  • for the purpose of a religion or belief
  • by an organisation promoting public health or carbon reduction (NHS, Fire Service, Police, Health Protection Agency, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Environment Agency)
  • by an organisation promoting bus travel within Oxford (Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach, Thames Travel)