Dear Metro Trains,
On Thursday 22nd of September I disembarked at Parliament Station, horrified to find that the station was plastered with advertising material from top to bottom. This included the areas on the floor at all entries to the escalators, on the long wall beside the escalators and various other places hanging from, or attached to, ceilings and walls.
As these areas are ticketed areas which I pay to use, I am disgusted that I have been forced to become part of a captive audience of this advertising. I believe that I should be paid to look at the advertising, as opposed to paying for the experience of entering this advertised space.
When I watch a commercial TV station, I have the choice of whether I wish to watch the ads. I can walk away from the television set, or I can turn it off. At Parliament Station, I cannot close my eyes to ignore the ads, especially on the escalators, as I may have a serious accident. I do not choose to enter the station to look at advertising, I choose to enter the station because I am paying to travel from point A to B.
Not only am I disgusted that I have been trapped against my will, forced to view offensive advertising material from which I cannot escape; I am also offended that my enjoyment of the architecture and interior decoration of Parliament Station has been suppressed by the tawdry and tasteless application of this advertising. The underground areas of Parliament Station once emitted a unique and sleek ambience: the colours blue and white, the faux columns, the tubular steel, the political imagery referencing the above-ground building standing nearby. One of my favourite activities in Melbourne WAS travelling on the Parliament escalators. I could imagine I was a character in science-fiction film or an English politician from the 1980’s.
I can inform you that this experience is now ruined. I might as well go and stand in front of a giant billboard for all the sleek ambience that the underground space is emitting now.
As I am a regular paying traveller, I hope that you can respond to my following queries:
1. What are you doing to rectify the situation I have outlined?
2. If you are not rectifying the situation, will you be reimbursing me for the time I travel through Parliament and am forced to look at the advertising?
I’ll be taking up these issues with the State Government and various public transport user groups as I believe public transport is for public travel – not for private enterprise to take advantage of an unwilling audience.
PS. I have also heard that Metro is considering advertising TV screens in the trains. Again I consider this taking advantage of the captive user. I believe public transport should be an enjoyable space, where one can travel without having advertising flashing in their face or the corner of their eyes.