Distributing advertising material

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you want to distribute advertising material (leaflets, flyers, and samples)? Either door-to-door or in the street? There are rules you have to comply with, both on a national and a municipal level.

All advertising materials should comply with the rules as described in the Dutch Advertising Code (NRC, pdf). You may not make misleading claims. You should also follow the rules of the municipality where you want to distribute materials.

Unaddressed materials

Do you distribute leaflets, letters, or product samples door-to-door, without putting a name or address on it? Then you have to comply with the following regulations:

This includes not posting any materials to letterboxes that carry a NEE/NEE or NEE/JA sticker. Terms and conditions of any offers should be clear and the advertiser should identify himself with a name and address. A post-box number is not sufficient. Recipients of the material should not get the impression that they have to pay for samples or that they have to accept offers. You should also check which rules your municipality has around advertising. For example, if a municipality has an ‘opt-in’ rule, you can only send materials to addresses that carry a JA sticker.

Addressed materials

Do you send advertising material or product samples with the address and/or name of the recipient? You have comply with the following:

This means that you have to check if a person is listed in the Post register (in Dutch) or the National Register of the Deceased (Nationaal Overledenen Register, in Dutch). You should also make sure you are allowed to use contact details for advertising.

Distribution on the street

Do you wish to distribute flyers, samples, saddle covers, discount coupons, or other advertising materials on the street? For example, among shoppers, behind car windscreen wipers, or at an event? You have to follow the Code for field marketing (SRC, in Dutch). You should also check the rules of the local municipality. This means:

  • Request permission, dispensation or a permit from the municipality.
  • Complying with the rules for distributing samples, for example not giving any to children under the age of 12 without permission from their parents or guardians.

Please note: if you hand out flyers, you are responsible for cleaning up flyers that have been thrown away.

RCC checks compliance with the rules

Do you fail to comply with the rules? You may receive a warning or a fine from the municipality or the Advertising Code Comission (RCC). You will also have to adjust your advertising or distribution.