Illegal advertising in Utah Valley
We've all seen it before: Large "NO SOLICITING OR DISTRIBUTION OF FLIERS. PRIVATE PROPERTY" signs on apartment complexes, whose supposedly-protected tenants deal with magazines, handbills, ads and signs taped onto their doors, littered on their stairs, and jammed into their windows or windshield wipers.
So the question I've been asking myself for the last year is whether local Provo advertisers are just plain retarded and think the signs don't apply to them, or if they're willfully disregarding the rights of tenants and landlords all over Provo by littering and trespassing for the 1-3% chance that someone will call up and buy from them.
My guess is that it's the latter...
All of us have dealt with illegal and intrusive advertising at one time or another, but compared to the other places that I've lived, Provo has been the worst by far. Perhaps it's the fact that we belong to the most sought-after demographic of 18-25 year old college students. Perhaps it's the fact that some of our comrades in Provo are so hard-up for cash that they're willing to unscrupulously pollute our valley with "OK RENTAL" and "GOLDS GYM" handbills, despite the fact that it's illegal. Whatever the reason, the sad fact is that our little valley here is being invaded by advertising and marketing cretins, and we're not willing to do anything about it.
But what can be done, you ask? I'm not exactly sure, but I've called in some questions to the Provo police department regarding what can be done. The biggest mistake people make is just ignoring it, because that doesn't stop these bozos from doing it again. Situations in other cities have suggested that if your apartment has a posted sign forbidding soliciting, that you can file a complaint or a charge of trespassing with intent to annoy and have the offending company substantially fined. Other routes of action could potentially be reporting the handbills as litter, which has been fined up to $300 per each individual piece of illegal advertising in other cities.
While this article is most certainly a rant, I'm also asking for your help and support. The next time you've got a Gold's Gym ad jammed into your door and see a dozen more littering the shrubs in your complex, don't just ignore it or figure that nothing can be done - seriously think about what the economical impact to YOUR community is with tens of thousands of these things littered on the ground each month. And if you're angry or annoyed by these advertisers who refuse to stop harassing you with their garbage, speak up! I'm thinking about starting a community initiative to reform this illegal advertising in Provo, and need your help. The law is on our side, but unless people actually do something about it, it'll never get better and only get worse!