October 1, 2017
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: Mood Media, the self-described “global leader in elevating customer experiences,” has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for imposing loud, intrusive, annoying, and unwanted noise onto captive audiences throughout the world.
Mood Media, which purchased Muzak in 2011, states that it is “dedicated to elevating the customer experience. We create greater emotional connections between brands and consumers through the right combination of sight, sound, scent, social mobile, and systems solutions. We reach more than 150 million consumers each day through more than 500,000 subscriber locations in 100+ countries around the globe.” Their slogans include:
- “We put people in the mood to eat.”
- “We put people in the mood to relax.”
- “We put people in the mood to buy.”
- “We put people in the mood to stay.”
- “We put people in the mood to spend.”
- “We put people in the mood to invest.”
Dariusz Gulanczyk, a member of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet in Illinois, rejects each of these rationales for piped-in noise: “Whenever I visit fast food restaurants, I look at the ceiling trying to find out where the speakers are located, then I choose a table located as far away from them as possible. Most restaurants and stores play the music way too loud, making shopping and dining a very unpleasant experience. I leave places with loud music as quickly as I can.”
Gulanczyk also noted that playing loud music often causes customers to leave, not stay: “Some busy restaurants play loud music and loud TVs at the same time, so that customers get tired quickly and leave—so that the table can be taken by the next customer.” He also notes that he tries to avoid gas stations where music is played at the pump.
Angie Norton, a member of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet in Michigan, stated that “mood music puts me in the mood to scream! One time I had to put paper napkin pieces in my ears at a restaurant I was eating at. I would have left–but was already eating. So now I carry ear plugs with me just in case I hear ‘music’ that is more conducive to wanting to scream rather than to buy or relax. It wouldn’t be so bad if they would turn it down about 30 decibels or so. The ‘music’ is so loud you have to yell to be heard across the table sometimes. What a nerve-wracking experience in most restaurants nowadays–especially the ones that serve alcohol because that makes most people louder yet. It’s just torture to eat out any more in most places. It needs to stop and let people eat in peace.”
Larry Deal, a Noise Free America member in North Carolina, stated that “imposing intrusive and annoying ‘music’ on customers is totally unnecessary and a bad business practice. The least these businesses could do is turn off that nasty noise at their customers’ request promptly and with a smile. If piped-in noise was turned off, businesses would not lose any customers and would likely attract more.”
“Don’t you wish a law would be passed to ban imposing that so-called ‘music’ on the public?” asks Deal. “Unfortunately, such a law is not likely to be passed–which leaves us with trying to pressure the proprietors of business to turn off that noise or not impose on us in the first place. People need to keep complaining. I did, and persuaded one business I patronize to turn off that annoying noise permanently.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Target, the National Football League, and the DC Metro.