RESIDENTS are being advised to destroy a leaflet being delivered to their homes by a company asking for unwanted clothing to 'help young families'.
The leaflets have been distributed to houses in Ellesmere Port by Kosta Ltd.
They ask homeowners to leave a 'donation' outside their front door ready for collection.
A charity worker from Great Sutton who received a leaflet said: 'There did seem something a bit odd about it, especially when the only point of contact is a mobile phone number.'
Our research has shown that a company called Kosta was dissolved in November 2003 but later reformed under the name Kosta Ltd.
But a spokesperson for the Charity Commission for England and Wales said: 'We can confirm that Kosta Ltd is not a UK registered charity.'
Donna Mitchell, spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), said: 'We have had problems with Kosta Ltd for quite some time and upheld a complaint against it last year.
'It is important to make people aware of Kosta Ltd and we suggest that anyone receiving a leaflet should throw it away.
'We are not able to locate them, despite having tried. And the Office of Fair Trading cannot take any action because we don't know where they are based.'
A leaflet the same as the one currently being distributed in this area was at the centre of the complaint to the ASA last March from Lewisham Trading Standards and members of the public.
The leaflet said: 'Please help those who really need your support.'
Because they believed the advertiser sold the goods on for profit, the complainants challenged the implication in the circular that the advertisers were a charitable organisation.
The adjudication upheld the complaint and said: 'The advertisers did not respond to the authority's inquiries. The authority was concerned by the advertisers' lack of response and apparent disregard for the codes.
'The authority considered that the advertisement implied the advertisers were a charitable organ-isation. Because the advertisers had not shown that they were, the authority told the advertisers to amend the leaflet.'
The Pioneer faxed a copy of the Ellesmere Port leaflet to Ms Mitchell, who said: 'The leaflet Kosta Ltd is using is the same one in which the complaint against them was upheld.'
A spokesperson for Cheshire Trading Standards said: 'We are aware of the company concerned and suggest people donate any unwanted clothing to a reputable charitable organisation.'
Despite repeated attempts, we were unable to contact Kosta Ltd through the mobile phone number on the leaflet.