The Slovenia Times




Why are bus token colours changed on a regular basis in Ljubljana. Is there any meaning to this? (Andy Hunt-Vodopivec, Goricica Pri Ihanu) According to Spela Verbic, public relations officer for the LPP ( Ljubljana Public Transport Department), the colour of the tokens are changed every time the price goes up, unfortunately to date, never down! The colours are based on a rotation system, yellow, orange and green and each colour represents a specific price period. However every colour is accepted by the bus driver so you will not be physically and embarrassingly removed from the bus should the tokens be 2 or 3 price changes out of date. Besides the regular coloured tokens, LPP have also released some special or limited series of tokens, to mark special events or dates. For example, heart shaped tokens which were issued on St. Valentine's day as well tokens with a 100 emblem stamped on them commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lubljana Public Transport in 2001. Wizard's comments: This is all very colourful but if it does not matter what colour the tokens are (say 2 or 3 changes late) and yet they are still accepted by the driver then why not make them just one colour and save on cost. Manufacture thousands of a single coloured token ( I am positive Helios have tons of old spare paint somewhere) therefore saving on periodic colour changes. The benefits and savings could then be spent on staff training, better driving and courteous manners might be a good start. Just a thought! Why is there a frustrating and pointless TV warning after every TV commercial for pharmaceutical based products such as aspirin or flu products. Is this really necessary and shouldn't the pharmacists point out any dangers at the sales counter. (Kim, Edinburgh) Although it may seem frustrating, Prof.Dr.Stanislav Primozic, head of the Slovene Pharmaceutical Department claims that it is far from pointless. In Slovenia, only certified drugs that can be purchased over the counter without a prescription can be advertised. Warnings at the end of the TV commercials are required for all the so called OTC (over the counter) drugs of chemical origin, which currently can only be bought in chemists. Natural and vegetable based medicines can be advertised without the warning unless there is a possibility that they may cause strong reactions. Mr. Primozic has no doubt regarding this regulation. He says that the changing role of media in a society in transition should not overlook its responsibility to keep a close eye on the public health. Therefore we should take every opportunity to minimize the risk of the improper use of drugs and similar kinds of medicines bearing in mind the potential for an overdose if large enough quantities are taken. On the official level, the warning is required by the advertising standards and rules pertaining to the advertisements of OTC medicine. The standards were drawn up based on the EU legislation. It is apparent however, that the Anglo-Amercian world is a little more liberal in the use and interpretation of these terms when comparing them to the Central European countries. Wizzard's comments: These are fair and legitimate comments but again I fear that emphasis is placed on something which is very small and not likely to occur. I also wish that the standards commission would place as much emphasis on alcohol and cigarette consumption as they do on insisting on these TV warnings. I do not see how an irritating and very fast read message is going to deter anyone from taking too many aspirins. I grab for the Scotch bottle when I hear the message for tenth time! The point of sale is the important part of the equation here and the chemist should have and must have complete authority to refuse sale of a particular drug. It has been proven that signs and warnings have very little if no effect on the consumption of medicines or harmful substances. Prohibition and scaremongering is not the answer, education and understanding is at the heart of limiting consumption of harmful and potentially dangerous substances. There is also another matter that caught my attention over the past few weeks which is in some way related. It seems acceptable for Triglav to air an advertisement for its (Assistenca Doma -Home Assistance) insurance showing a man standing up to his knees in water with an electric hair dryer slowly falling down into the water in the room. I found this ad very disconscerting, highly insensitive and extremely dangerous in its message. In the UK, the number one killer in the household after fire is electrocution in the bathroom and the number one culprit is the hairdryer (and other appliances) falling in the basin or the bath. Yet it seems that this careless and potentially highly dangerous act is acceptable. It seems that the Advertising Standards are not well balanced when it comes to a very real and dangerous hazard.


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