Ad That Never Stops!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about repeated ads:

I work for an electrical retailer, in the warehouse. A Sky HD advertisement has been on repeat for the past two months! If you turn it off, it turns off all speakers in the shop. The other staff play music over it downstairs but I work upstairs and there is no power. Is it illegal to play the advertisement on repeat? It’s making me feel down all the time and I’ve told the managers plenty of times. All they say is that it has to be on but surely there is a way around it? Please get back to me ASAP because all the staff at my store will soon be going bonkers.

Signed, Bonkers

Dear Bonkers:

There is nothing regulated in either the U.S. or the U.K. about playing a store ad repeatedly. But I can certainly see that would be upsetting and nerve-wracking.If there is a manager higher than your manager, perhaps you could escalate this up the chain of command, unless you think it could get you in trouble.You might want to contact labor associations or unions to see if they have suggestions for ware housemen working environments that would cover this issue If you do decide to escalate it in that way or want to ask others for advice, you will benefit from providing complete information about the situation.

The following list of questions is for self-asking and answering, but might help you find some solutions or decide there is no solution except serious threats to quit. (Not a good solution but it is one idea.)

1. What is the delay between one advertisement ending and the next one starting?

2. Is it the same ad and if so, what does it consist of? Is it music, talking, both? Is it loud, normal volume?

3. How long is each play of the ad?

4. It appears this is not playing in a store but rather in an office and warehouse area. Why does it need to be on and repeated? If it is also being repeated in the retail store, what has been the reaction of clerks and customers or do you know?

5. Is it on repeat because the managers want to have it played over and over or is it a glitch in the system? If it is a technical problem, who could fix it and have you talked with them?

6. Have other employees complained? If not, why not? Even playing music loud enough to cover it would be distracting, it would seem to me. Can you get others to write a letter with you, asking that the ad tape be fixed or that music be interspersed with it?

7. You say there is no power upstairs, but that seems unlikely if you have lights and heating and air conditioning. Talk to your maintenance crew about what they could do to help you get some outlets to allow you to have a music source.

But the real key is to convince your managers that repeating the ad over and over is demoralizing and upsetting. Ask them to come visit your area and see what it is like to have it play in that way. Write a sincere letter–more than a conversation, a real letter–in which you outline some of the information mentioned above.At the conclusion ask them to please reconsider the way the ad is played and to think about the effect it has on your work and the work of others. Their reaction to that will be an indicator of whether or not you will get any relief on this. It is also an indicator of how much your managers care about your work situation–assuming that, as you say, the ad is unreasonable in its repetition.Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.