While advertisers have invaded the Web for several years, they haven’t given up on paper. According to state figures, French households receive some 30 kg of unsolicited printed matter, trade catalogs and free newspaper advertisements in their letterboxes each year. A monster mess that is far from convincing the majority of households to run into stores to shop.
7,500 euros fine
However, in 2004, the State launched the “Stop advertising” system to limit the ecological impact of advertising leaflets. Made available free of charge to individuals by the majority of local authorities, this sticker to be affixed to your letterbox should encourage direct sellers to go their way. But so far, the law did not specifically penalize non-compliance with this mention. Only a 3rd class ticket (450 euros) punishing the abandonment of any object in a private place without the consent of its occupant allowed action. Not enough to discourage professionals.
The law of February 10, 2020 on the circular economy therefore goes further. Since January 1, 2021, the Environmental Code (article L541-15-15) punishes with a 5th class fine the fact of placing unaddressed advertisements in mailboxes displaying the “Stop pub” logo. This is equivalent to a 1,500 euros fine for a natural person and to 7,500 euros (amount multiplied by five) for a legal person (company, independent professional, etc.). The sanction rises respectively to 3,000 and 15,000 euros in the event of a repeat offense. In addition, the deposit of unsolicited promotional gifts and leaflets left on vehicle windshields are also punishable by law.
Take matters into your own hands
Did you receive flyers in bulk in your mailbox despite the “Stop pub” logo? The first instinct should be to contact the responsible brand to remind it that it is outlawed and to let it know that you intend to file a complaint if it starts again.
In terms of advertising catalogs, the two large distribution companies that share the market – Adrexo and Mediapost – have also set up specific online reporting forms. If you don’t know which company is responsible, your best bet is to notify them both.
How to get the sticker?
You can request your “Stop pub” sticker free of charge from your town hall. You can also consult the directory of distribution points on the Stoppub.fr site, which aims to federate local operations.