As muzac in shops reached its normal pre-Christmas cacophony, Carol Midgley exploded in The Times for 20 December 2012. She called 'the musical torment of customers a method of mind control', a 'conspiracy' to 'make shopping hellish' which is in fact driving more and more shoppers onto the Internet. She likened the muzac at Tesco to 'being waterboarded by festive sewage.' 'I've said it before and I'll say it again', she wrote, 'when it comes to torture by [piped] music, Abu Ghraib could take some tips from Debenhams.' Quoting the recent (2011) survey which found half shoppers left a store because of the muzac, she called for retailers 'to chuck those festive CDs on the fire.' (In Tesco muzac is common at Christmas but not usually at other times, which may perhaps allow their poor staff to regain their imperilled sanity.)
In The Daily Telegraph on 4 February 2013 Jake Wallis Simons laid into an 'abomination which was both pernicious and deeply offensive and no less so for its ubiquity in our society' - piped music. He found the muzac in the Chesil Rectory, Winchester, an 'insult to diners' that 'cheapened the dignity of the restaurant'. He concluded: 'Piped music is a menace which must be confronted and destroyed once and for all. Never mind stepping in dog poo; piped music is siphoning poo into our brains all the time. It is high time we united in protest and stood firm against the tyranny of muzac.'
written on 08-Feb-2013
Sarah Long says:
Presumably businesses don’t challenge the statistics produced by companies such as the Performing Right Society which suggest that huge proportions of the population love piped music. Even I, as a lay person, have noticed that the statistics on MusicWorks, the “research” branch of PRS, http://www.musicworksforyou.com/research have changed in recent months. They used to refer to people who actually like piped music, but now these same statistics appear to refer to the whole population. When is someone going to do an investigation into how MusicWorks collects these statistics? A lot of them come from a 2009 survey of 2000 people. How were these 2000 people selected? How was the survey conducted – online, by telephone, face to face? And which specific age groups were surveyed?” Can anyone get the answers? I have tried but have received no response…