London’s black cabs get a digital makeover with internet adverts

LONDON’S iconic black cabs have made a push into the internet age with the launch of a service that beams adverts onto their roofs.

Ubiquitous, the UK’s biggest taxi advertising company, yesterday started a trial of 25 cabs fitted with screens broadcasting adverts from the likes of Billy Elliot, MasterCard and Magnum. The firm has teamed up with Brightmove Media, a venture set up by entrepreneur Piers Mummery last year to bring the technology to taxis.

Ubiquitous said it would be able to use the technology to alter what adverts people see, depending on where the cab is and at what time the ads are shown. The company uses the taxi’s GPS chip and a 3G connection to target the adverts more effectively.

Transport for London approved the screens’ use earlier this year, after being assured the adverts would not affect “the general public’s admiration of the iconic shape of the London taxi”.

Brightmove said that by working with Ubiquitous it will have access to a fleet of 4,500 cabs, out of a total of 23,000 on London’s streets.