Leuven’s Barcode campaign warns against hearing loss


The City of Leuven is joining forces with the university and local bars in the first of a series of campaigns on a variety of social and health issues aimed at students

“One in five has tinnitus”

Bar owners in Leuven are collaborating with the city and police to launch the Barcode campaign. The campaign is aimed at students and will concentrate on one topic for a couple of months before moving on to another topic.

Barcode is meant to raise awareness around issues such as noise nuisance, discrimination, alcohol abuse, drugs and aggression. The first theme is the prevention of hearing damage.

“About one out of five youngsters now suffers from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which is an irreversible condition,” Leuven’s environmental alderman, Mohamed Ridouani, told StampMedia. “It is time to take action against hearing damage.”

The City of Leuven installed decibel meters in the bars some time ago to demonstrate the noise levels in crowded public places and will now support the awareness campaign online and in the streets. The University of Leuven (KU Leuven) is a partner in the project.

“This collaboration was essential,” said Ridouani. “One out of three inhabitants in Leuven is connected to the university, and the students are the largest group of clients for many of the bars.”

The campaign was launched last week with a distribution of free ear plugs at participating bars. Organisers will now also disseminate information on beer coasters, flyers and posters. An online video and social media campaign will also try to convince young people to protect their ears. 

“I hope this action receives attention on a national and international level,” said Ridouani. “We need concrete campaigns like this, which connect to the lives of young people through strong visuals and a humoristic approach.”


Photo: A clip from the Barcode Leuven campaign warning against hearing damage