The description Circular & Sample Distribution dates back to the 1950’s when this form of distribution was first used. The word circular comes from the fact that the information that the newsletter or other item contained was usually of a community nature and the information was being circularised around the local population where the item was being distributed. As the concept developed circular distribution became a generic name for distribution of advertising material of a wide nature and not just local authority or community news.
When the Yellow pages directory was introduced into the UK the category for Leaflet Distribution door drops was entitled Circular and Sample Distribution. Up until quite recently samples were in fact regularly distributed door to door as it was a very cost effective way to get product samples into the hands of consumers and householders. In the mid 1980’s the term Leaflet Distribution came widely into use for describing a door to door distribution or door drop. Circular distribution as a description has now mostly fallen into disuse however it still remains the category used by Yellow Pages in their local letterbox distributed directories.
The competitive directory namely Thomson Local pages initially use Circular and Sample distribution as its category for Leaflet Distribution door drops but later dropped this title in favor of Leaflet Distribution.