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Some potential media spaces are definitely being misused. I was thinking this the other day when I was sitting in an Airbus. As usual, while the plane was trundling towards the runway, music was playing over the speaker system. I don't know about you, but I've never quite understood why airlines feel that we need to listen to music just before take-off.

Normally, the little pre-flight symphony is irritating but bearable. This time, however, it was torture. It was a selection of Christmas ballads, and the compiler had obviously decided to pick the most syrupy and sentimental songs ever, all sung very loudly by women with « soulful » voices. The worst song was so terrible that it was hilarious. It was called something like Even Santa Fell in Love, and featured the immortal words « Mrs Cringle feels the tingle, underneath the Christmas tree. » If I'd had an ejector seat, I would have pushed the button right then.

I began to wonder if something more creative couldn't be done with this media space. How about a short radio programme, telling us interesting things about our destination : the weather, exhibitions, new restaurants, the probability of armed revolution ? Local brands could buy advertising space. (I for one would sponsor the announcement about the toboggan). But maybe this is one media space we should leave alone. Let passengers revel in the exciting whine of jet engines, as they prepare for another miraculous journey above the clouds.

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