Comment 97330

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 31, 2014 at 15:09:00

Another simple change, that I suggested during the HSR service review a few years ago, would be to limit the number of depressing public service ads running inside the bus and make a better attempt to market the interior space based on the large number of high school, college, and university students who take the bus every day (a prime advertising demographic).

Riding the bus you are forced daily to confront a line-up of worthy, but depressing, social and health problems: various serious chronic diseases, needle exchange programs, zero tolerance for violence, anti-smoking, anti-graffitti, bed bugs, gambling addiction, alcoholism, violence against women and children, lead pipes (leading to grey futures for sad children) etc.

These issues may all be worthy, but it is depressing to be seen as a target audience for every debilitating disease and social problem under the sun. Even worse, many of these ads are deliberately sensational and aim to elicit a strong emotional response.

And, interestingly, these ads only ever appear inside the bus. If these are really such important issues why are we devoting space that advertisers don't want to them, and only reach the small proportion of the population that takes the bus?

Limit the number of public service ads, and either leave the space empty or include poetry or art like other systems do. Passengers are paying customers and should be treated with respect, not as a captive audience for depressing ads that no one else will run.

GO transit doesn't feel the need to fill their vehicles with these ads and I expect, especially with their new emphasis on customer experience, they would refuse to.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-01-31 15:11:37

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