How do you feel when you leave a store, walk back to your car, and find a flyer on your windshield? Happy and eager to read the flyer? Or annoyed at being inconvenienced with it? My guess is the latter. You have just been burdened with a piece of trash that you are now responsible for disposing of. In fact in today’s society you are responsible for making sure it gets recycled properly.
Perhaps you have even been so annoyed that you let it make a litterbug out of you, pulling it off your windshield and letting it flutter to the pavement on the parking lot. Doesn’t that make you want to sort of hurry up and speed away at that point? You are now a fugitive attempting to make a getaway! Didn’t plan on that when running to the store for milk did you?
Somehow, you have now committed a crime – one which you probably think you are justified in, as the real blame goes to the company distributing those stupid flyers. Doesn’t it? Truth be told, the judge will probably not see it that way. What the company did was legal. What you did was not. They did not commit an intentional act of littering. You did. They are allowed to advertise in this manner and you are responsible for properly dealing with the literature you received.
Have you ever not even noticed it until after you started driving away? This happens sometimes with the smaller ones. That can really be annoying, especially if it creates a blind spot. As a matter of fact I have (on occasion) not noticed large ones until after I was on the road and suddenly had to deal with a rather hazardous blind spot on my front windshield. Note that this is also illegal – for me, not the company who just made a criminal out of me while I wasn’t looking.
The most tempting way to deal with this situation is – you guessed it – by turning on your windshield wipers. Been there, done that! It doesn’t always work. In fact sometimes this only repositions the flyer in a place that creates an even larger blindspot and you may be forced to pull over and deal with it. How embarrassing! If by some miracle you are able to free it with the windshield wiper, you are now littering on the highway – a much more serious offense than littering in the parking lot and it could end up costing you $500. Or worse, it could fly off and land on the windshield of some total idiot behind you and cause a traffic accident.
If that happens, how do you feel about going to the furniture store sale?
What are these companies thinking with this kind of marketing? How can it possibly work? Are we are such dolts that we will remember a sale at the cleaners and not remember that it nearly got us arrested or killed finding out about it?
And what about these kids they hire to distribute the flyers. They aren’t exactly the kind of people I would choose for handling delicate equipment on my car. I wonder how many windshield wiper arms have been broken in this process. I wonder how many kids who broke windshield wipers were stupid enough to still leave the flyer afterwards. I wonder how many people who had this happen to them were too stupid to even put two and two together and figure out how their car was damaged.