Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BIXI's French Only Airport Ads

If ever there's a place where we can expect bilingualism, it's at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport.

Even the Quebec government accedes to that principle and advertises it's services in both official languages.

Arriving from Washington yesterday, I spent some time in the arrival hall, snaking through the long line awaiting my turn to go through.

The new arrival hall has many television monitors placed up high on poles that are used to show advertising that generates revenue for airport. As you can imagine, the ads are closely related to travel and visitors. Car rental agencies, restaurants, Tourism Quebec, etc. etc.

All the ads run bilingually, all except BIXI.

I watched the ads rotate a couple of times to confirm that what I saw was right- and yes, BIXI advertises in French only.

As you know, the majority of tourists who come to Montreal speak English as a first or second language and the idea of advertising in French
only makes little senses.

It seems that all of BIXI's outdoor advertising is exclusively in French as well. I noticed this billboard as I drove away from the airport.

The value and efficacy of this French-only program leaves much to be desired, Bixi is not exactly a world-wide recognized product like Coca-Cola. Placing an ad that says "Bixi- est Montreal" may be classy, but as a device to promote their product, it is money down the drain.

I imagine that 99% of tourists, both English, French or whatever would have no clue as to what the billboard meant.
Ignoring the fact that the majority of tourist don't read French is arrogant and stupid.

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