Thursday, February 08, 2007

ClearChannel clarifies NY10 taxi cab signage network

We wrote about Clear Channel's ambitious NY10 in-taxi digital signage network a few weeks ago, right after Advertising Age wrote an article about the network and its implications.

Apparently, what was written at the time wasn't entirely correct, at least according to this correction/retraction that Clear Channel posted today:

Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE:CCO) wishes to correct the Press Release we issued January 4, 2007. As stated, our goal is to inform and entertain passengers in at least 5,000 New York City taxis by airing NY10, New York Taxi Entertainment Network. At the present time, neither we nor any subsidiary of Clear Channel Outdoor is a party to any contract with any owners of the approximately 13,000 New York City taxicabs. Currently, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has not authorized the sale of any technology systems with or without media entertainment to owners of NYC taxicabs. Furthermore, neither Clear Channel nor any of the four vendors currently approved for testing, is partnering with the TLC. The use of such term was intended to demonstrate the enthusiastic commitment Clear Channel has in working cooperatively with the TLC on this exciting project, which will benefit the entire New York City taxicab riding public. We regret any confusion that may have resulted from the original release.
So did they get into trouble because of this? While they've been trying to go private again, they're still a public company, thus any misinformation leaked to the press can get them into hot water with the SEC. Or, by over blowing the story, Ad Age and anybody else hyping the deal could have inadvertently aggravated the T&LC (a notoriously difficult organization), putting it in jeopardy before it ever got off the ground.

Hopefully we'll get a bit more clarification to this clarification soon, since I was getting pretty excited that somebody like Clear Channel was going to step in and give this thing a try. There have been numerous failed projects to put multimedia devices into New York cabs (and I'll even include that Godawful thing with the voice of Joan Rivers), but nobody has been successful with it yet. Clear Channel, with their big piles of cash, advertiser relations, and out-of-home advertising street cred, could have been the ones to make it happen.

And who knows, maybe they still will...

Tags: Clear Channel, NY10, digital signage, out-of-home advertising

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