Taipei lawmaker questions ‘strange’ seat ads on MRT

  • By Yang Hsin-hui and William Hetherington/staff reporter, with a staff editor

Taipei Democratic Progressive Party councilwoman Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said on Saturday that she had received numerous complaints about advertisements on the seats of Taipei’s metropolitan MRT trains.

The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) has put advertisements on the MRT seats, which ruin the aesthetics of the trains and turn them into “telephone poles stuck with random flyers”, she said, adding that many commuters had told him that using seats to advertise the space was “weird”.

Chen questioned the effectiveness of the advertisements, saying that since passengers would sit on them, they would not be visible.

Photo courtesy of Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun

“If the trains are full, no one will see the ads. If they are empty, no one will see the ads. So, what is it for ? ” she says.

Chen said the colors used for the ads did not match the colors of the seats or the cars, which made the ads unpleasant to watch.

“Another problem is that the writing on the advertisements – which are for products such as air compressors, toiletries and massage chairs – is so small that older people cannot read them,” said she declared. “They might mistakenly think the ad is a notice telling them not to sit in the chair.”

Photo courtesy of Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun

Chen said TRTC should find a way to balance the needs of advertisers and commuters to maximize the effectiveness of advertisements, without inconveniencing passengers.

TRTC said it commissioned an advertising agency to come up with a creative way to advertise on trains.

Seat announcements are used on 13 trains, with 250 announcements per train, he said, adding that companies paid between NT$11.5 million and NT$12 million ($386,490 and $403,294) for the announcements. .

TRTC said it would make improvements to its advertising methods, adding that people should feel free to sit in seats with advertisements on them.

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