New York City has mandated that its 16,000 cabs be equipped with interactive units designed to provide city and tourist information, taxi fares, a GPS location system, credit card billing and, of course, advertising, eWeek writes (via MediaBuyerPlanner). Interactive Taxi, a subsidiary of Targeted Media Partners - which provides just such a technology and has deployed its interactive screens in cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago - is a finalist for the contract, which will be awarded in early 2006, according to Mediapost.
The touch screens, connected wirelessly to the internet, offer taxi passengers a mix of ad-supported news, business, sports, and weather content; viewers can get more information on the ad content by touching the screen.
Critics question whether the tactic will take off with taxi passengers, and whether companies like Interactive Taxi will be able to provide the metrics that advertisers are increasingly demanding.
Corey Gottlieb, CEO of Interactive Taxi - who formerly handled ad sales at Viacom - said his company offers data on ad frequency and the number of passengers touching the screens for more information. He said only 3 percent of passengers in Interactive screen-equipped cabs have turned off the ads.