A bus wrap advert (left) and, right, the view through that same advert across Pok Fu Lam and the South China Sea on a clear blue day

The advertising boss in charge of thousands of bus and bus-stop billboards has back-pedalled on a social media post in which he hinted that bus window advertising could be a thing of the past.

Richard Petignaud, the head of Bravo’s new in-house media unit and the man responsible for developing ad campaigns across all New World First Bus and CityBus assets, had responded to a comment on LinkedIn complaining about bus wrap adverts obstructing window views, agreeing such complaints were “spot on”.

“At Bravo Media, we aim to make bold changes to reimagine our media offering and make it more harmoniously integrated with our beautiful fleet of double-deckers. Stay tuned!” he added.

But when asked later by Transit Jam if this meant the end of window adverts, Petignaud headed for safer ground. “I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “But we are looking for more integrated media adverting for sure.”

Wrap adverts, which block windows and dim the outside world, have caused complaints around the world, with author Darrin Nordahl reportedly claiming the wraps are an “example of a transit agency decision that is disrespectful of the customer and indicative of a lack of self-respect”.

But in Hong Kong, while covering windows of any vehicle remains illegal, Transport Department (TD) said bus operators have been granted exemption for “covering certain parts of the bus windows with advertising materials”.

“To enable bus passengers to see through the advertising materials and maintain a reasonable degree of visibility, the perforated film of advertising materials shall have a uniformly distributed hole density and only a few panels of bus windows would be covered up with these perforated film. In addition, opaque or translucent advertising, and fluorescent colours are not permitted and each type of material shall be approved by the TD before use,” said a spokeswoman.

TD also said bus operators are not allowed to put adverts on windows “essential for driver’s vision, including windscreen and side windows next to the driver’s seat, upper deck front windscreen and windows on all doors, including lower deck emergency exit.”

Leave a Reply