PHIL TONKS takes a look at bus advertising, its benefits and drawbacks, and what the function of a bus fleet’s appearance should be

Global, the owner of Heart radio advertised on the side of this Go South Coast Scania OmniCity, is the largest provider of bus advertising in the UK.

Madonna’s 1990 hit single ‘Vogue’ begins with the words “what are you looking at?” It was all about ‘striking a pose’ and getting noticed. Ditto the world of business and selling something Marketing and selling your product in a never-ending world of competitors is all important – and studied religiously. Yet what do you see when you look at a bus?

In recent years, some in the bus fraternity have compared the industry to the retail world. Tesco and McDonalds amongst countless others get every little detail spot on, so that you’ll return again and again. Buses?

Maybe we shouldn’t directly compare retail and buses. Shopping outlets have 100% control over their ‘offer.’ Buses, despite huge advances in comfort for the user, are ultimately reliant on what’s happening on the road network they provide their services on. A top-of-therange vehicle with bells, whistles and USB phone charging is not attractive if it’s not where it should be because of traffic congestion.

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