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Rajan Datar | 14:32 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

The way the World Service uses promotional trails to advertise future programmes on the network sparked much debate amongst listeners this week.

"Having listened to a programme advertisement for three weeks, I can't face listening to the programme itself," commented one listener.

Another listener referred to, "the long intervals between programmes when a beat is played, which comes out louder than the sound level of the programmes, and which is repetitive, thumping, and goes on and on. It is of course accompanied by announcements of future programmes, which are also repeated too often."

I interviewed listener Colin Walsh from Cambridge, who felt compelled to email in his opinions on the matter.

He told me he didn't want to hear what he referred to as "mindless" background music.

Colin also felt that all promotional trails sounded the same, regardless of the nature of the programme, and went on to also criticise the use of library music on the network.

In order to get an official word on the matter, Murray Holgate, network manager, World Service English, talked to me about the ideas and philosophy behind the way BBC World Service creates and uses promotional trails for future programmes and events.

Murray told me "If trails are becoming a turn-off then we are doing something wrong.
Inevitably we all reach a point where a person becomes irritated by hearing the same thing a number of times. On the other hand, if for that one person there are ten or 20 people who did not know about that programme. Inevitably you've got to draw a balance and you can't always win."

So, love them or loathe them... trails are here to stay.

Thanks for all your comments this week. As ever we'd like to hear your views regarding anything you hear on BBC World Service.

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes. Broadcast times can be found by clicking here.

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Send the team your feedback by email (overtoyou@bbc.co.uk), telephone (44 144 960 9000), SMS (447786 202006) or by leaving comments on this blog


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