Cabvision Is Demonic

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

The rantings of a ‘woman who talks too much’ or someone giving a typical Londoner’s / Consumer’s point of view? You decide.

We found this on the blog ‘womanwhotalkedtoomuch

Anybody else come across the devil’s own “entertainment” which is Cabvision? For the fortunate, allow me to describe. You get into the back of a black cab – a cab which, I mght remind you, costs significantly more money than the average minicab. You sit down. And you are immediately greeted by a television screen in the back of the seat in front, which promises you joy, rapture, multiple channels – and, naturally, advertising. Of course, should you not be interested, you can mute it. BUT YOU CANNOT SWITCH IT OFF. It will be there, beaming its images at you, pulling your eye away from the window with its rampant shininess, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Let’s clarify a few things. Taxis are a hell of a lot more expensive than tube trains or buses, so you need a pretty good reason to take a cab. Convenience, cleanliness, speed for example. To which I would add: to be able to relax. You cannot relax with this thing on. (Maybe you can ignore a screen if it is in an enclosed space with you, in which case you are a better person than me, or at least one with fewer shiny-shiny magpie issues.) If you have been on the Heathrow Express, or on one of those London buses with an on-board TV, you will know exactly what I mean. They are annoying enough under those circustances, but at least in that case you are on “public” transport. In a cab, I expect to be left alone, chatty cabbies notwithstanding.

And what is Cabvision there for? For my entertainment? Of course not. It’s to make money, money at the expense of my discomfort. Let’s take a moment to peruse the Cabvision website, shall we?

“Cabvision – an in cab TV system that delivers a captive audience in a mobile environment”.

As an advertiser have you wondered how to efficiently target an ABC1, under 35, affluent audience in London?

Cabvision offers advertisers the opportunity to target circa 1.4 million captive ABC1 consumers predominantly under 35 yrs (per month) in London via a mobile TV medium.

Cabvision is a “Total Taxi marketing solution”.

Solution to what? Solution to the problem that right now, all around the world, there are people spending seconds, even minutes, not being sold to? Disaster!

And “captive”, That’s a word they like a lot. Captive, as in can’t get out. As in imprisoned. As in has no choice. Advertisers would beam their messages directly into our brains if they could get away with it. “All that time wasted while consumers sleep – now, infiltrate their nights with DreamVision!”

Cabvision is demonic, yet another step on the ever-encroaching march to fill every second of our lives, every possible movement of our eyeballs, with marketing. I am voting with my feet. From now on, if the cab has Cabvision, I do not get in.

Actually we thought you could ask the Taxi Cab driver to turn it off (and not just mute it) and of course folks like Ivan Clark at Kinetic like it and we have seen major brands such as Chanel make use of it.

3 Responses to “Cabvision Is Demonic”

  1. Marie Says:

    I did ask him to switch it off but he refused! So the only alternative is to (a) get out, (b) complain, annoyingly, at length until the driver goes mad listening to you, (c) refuse to tip, or (d) go into business designing light-impermeable slipcovers that can be placed over TV screens in “captive” situations so that you have the choice not to spend your life in televisual Guananamo Bay.

    BTW your OpenID refuses to accept that I am the author of womanwhotalkedtoomuch but I assure you it is me.

  2. Barnaby Page Says:

    You could always not look at it.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Or e) turn it off by pressing the red button which the start up message and menu tell you turns it off.

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