Passengers are sick of loud TVs on Hong Kong’s public buses

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 4:34pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 11:21pm

My friends and I have had many unpleasant experiences with the loud TVs installed in Hong Kong’s public buses.

It is not uncommon to see passengers wearing earphones. Sometimes they do so because they are listening to something on their smartphones, but often I think they use them to block off the sound coming from these TVs.

I have always found being a captive audience for these low-quality TV programmes and ads to be profoundly annoying. They are repeated throughout the journey. Sometimes there is no picture, just a blue screen, but the commentary still keeps blasting out at a loud volume.

Almost all email ads nowadays offer an option to “unsubscribe” or switch off, and even MTR trains have some quiet carriages, so why can’t the bus companies in Hong Kong allow some peaceful, pleasant moments for their passengers, say on the top deck?

Some may argue that these ads are a source of revenue for the bus firms. However, I doubt if these ads are really successful.

Passengers like me resent them, because we are being force-fed the broadcasts. I think they are counterproductive and actually put people off the products being promoted.

The cooking shows, for example, last only a few minutes and they are neither entertaining nor educational. By contrast, digital advertising with its soft-sell approach is far more effective. The good ones get millions of hits and positive reviews.

If ads are creative and can target the right group of people using the right platform, they are more likely to boost sales.

The adverts broadcast on these bus TVs can never get that kind of positive response.

Maybe it really is time to recognise that the advertising culture has moved forward. These televisions showing adverts should be scrapped on public transport, so that passengers can have a more enjoyable bus trip.

Kathleen Hau, North Point