You’re stuck in the early-morning traffic, listening to someone’s favourite get-up-and-go jam, when you see them: young, good-looking (mostly) people offering colourful pieces of paper to yawning commuters. Before the nightmare that was 2020, there was a good chance that you’d wind down your window and humour the person earning minimum wage to push printed flyer advertising onto drivers.

Today, when we live with COVID-19 as a daily reality, we’re looking at a different picture entirely. We feel that printed flyers should go the way of the dodo – and here’s why:

Spreading germs

Deadly viruses are only as catastrophic as their ability to spread through a population. The more you ‘curb the spread’ the better. Imagine the damage just one person handing out flyers could do if they were infected and practiced poor hand hygiene?

We’re willing to bet that way fewer people will be comfortable with taking handed-out flyers at traffic lights in the new normal, since winding down your window and accepting a printed flyer has literally become an act of sheer bravery.


Where does paper come from? Trees, of course! What are we cutting down at ever increasing rates of severity? Trees, of course! Whether we like it or not, the pursuit of paper has cost our earth dearly over the years, and our addiction to it before the digital age has left scars where there once were mile-high forests.

Printed flyer advertising requires the use of heaps of paper, and when you think about how many people simply crumple a flyer up and toss it – what was the point of it all?


Speaking of crumpling up flyers, large numbers of printed flyer accepters do this as soon as the person handing them out has moved on to the next car in line. Some might even shove the colourful ball that was recently a piece of branded information into that storage gap all car doors have.

Regardless of where it ends up, tons and tons of printed flyers are thrown away each year – and in many cases they don’t even get read. These flyers might be biodegradable (if they haven’t been treated with plastic glossing) but inks still run off and pollute the ground.


Yep, we said it out loud. Pushing printed flyer advertising on people (especially during a pandemic) is just plain harassment. Let’s face it: we feel uncomfortable when we see people with flyers. Mainly because we don’t want to disappoint this person who only gets to go home with their wages once they’ve handed out all of their flyers.

More and more consumers are realising the environmental and health risks printed advertising now presents, and some might even develop negative sentiments towards brands who continue to print and peddle branded paper flyers.

Forget printed flyer advertising – use the internet instead!

Digital marketing and internet advertising come in as more effective, more affordable, safer means to getting a brand’s message out into the public eye. Instead of handing out flyers at a particular robot, why not let us run a paid online ad campaign that appears only to people who are in that area at a specific time of the morning?

Your potential customers will see your digital flyer on their phones, and no person-to-person interaction is necessary! There is also no paper involved, so switching to online advertising will instantly improve your company’s carbon footprint. Get in touch with Mel or Nick Gard, directors of WSI Durban, to discuss your next internet advertising campaign.