How to avoid taking a promo flyer

Don’t worry about being polite

A summer spent working as a “flyerer”– handing out marketing leaflets – at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer has given me the inside track on all the tactics people will use to try and get them to take your flyer. Living up to the drama student stereotype, flyerers in Edinburgh would accost the public with cheesy one-liners, flailing arms and oodles of persuasive leaflets.

Perhaps unsurprisingly a lot of the public were equally vocal and active in their rejection of the accursed pieces of paper. Copy their techniques in freshers, and you’ll easily breeze by the various flyers being handed out on campus which it’s normally impossible to avoid.

The Chopper

Ready for their arms to be 'chopped'

Ready for their arms to be ‘chopped’

If you’ve ever dabbled in Karate or Kung Fu, you too should be able to master this skill. It involves hitting the flyerer in question on the wrist with a swift chopping motion, causing them to drop their flyers on the ground. This of course should be accompanied by your preferred Kung Fu screech to add extra impact. If this is too complex, simply knocking the flyers out of their hands will do.

The Expletives

Fuck off guys

Fuck off guys

A classic defence mechanism used worldwide is to shout expletives at whoever dares to offer you the flyer. It allows everyone around you to know you’ve asserted your dominance while violently rejecting a piece of paper.

The Vaccination

Hiding from the Vaccinated

Hiding from the Vaccinated

Another obvious way to let flyerers know you’re not interested is to get your vaccinations against them. When walking down a busy street, hold up your hands and let everyone know you’ve received the vaccination by shouting you’re immune so they can’t touch you.

The Language Barrier

When the language barrier gets awkward...

When the language barrier gets awkward…

If you’re ever at a loss as to how to decline a flyer, why not try pretending you don’t speak their language? This usually works best if you loudly announce in their language that you don’t speak their language and can therefore not accept their leaflet. Add an accent for extra effect.

The Bin Lady

As flyerers are bottom of the food chain, they can sometimes be mistaken for bins. If you need to get rid of your rubbish you can hand it to a flyerer to let them know you’re wanting to offload and not receive. If, however, you’re not close enough to a flyerer to hand your rubbish to them, you could always throw it at them from afar just to let them know you don’t agree with their job.

The Ripper



Sometimes it’s more fun to look as though you’re going to accept a flyer only to disappoint them later. For this technique you take the flyer, stand in front of their face and then proceed to slowly shred it inches away from their face. Ramp up the intimidation factor by doing it as close to their face as possible.

The Lads

Taking rejection like a boss

Taking rejection like a boss

If you don’t feel intimidating enough to reject a flyer on your own, why not get your friends to join in with you? When walking down the road it might be helpful to chant “Lads” to let people know you’re approaching with force. When offered a flyer you must reject it as a group, electing one person from the group to take the leaflet, screw it up and throw it back at the flyerer. After this has been done you can rejoice at your hilarious rejection by chanting “Top bant!”

The Gym Session



When you’ve just finished a hard training session at the gym, you’re not in any mood to accept a piece of paper. Instead, you want to share your experience with everyone around you. In order to do this, pour your invigorating, energised, nutritious drink over the flyerer to also leave them sticky and wet. You don’t want them missing out on feeling as though they’ve been to the gym. Then Instagram it, #postworkout.

The Toilet Trick

This is a short and sweet technique which could be mastered by anyone. Announce loudly you simply cannot take a flyer because you are desperate for a poo.

The Power Walk

Look what you've done

Look what you’ve done

For this method you’re going to want to break apart a bundle of flyerers like the Red Sea. To achieve this, you must walk shoulders first with a disregard for all other human beings. The aim of this move is to knock as many people out of your way as possible, being too cool to look back on the destruction you’ve caused in your wake.

Or, rather than any of these, you could settle for a simple “No thank you”. It’ll probably make you look like less of a dick.