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Google awarded patent for ads which offer buyers a free ride

by Mark Tyson on 24 January 2014, 14:14

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab7z5

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Last week Google was awarded a patent by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office for an ad-powered 'taxi' service arranging discounted or even free transportation to an advertiser's business location.

A tram to TK Maxx, or a limo to Louis Vuitton?

Advertisers paying for transportation in the hope of prospective sales does not mean everyone will be getting a limo ride or perhaps in the long run, a lift in one of Google's driverless cars, to their desired restaurant, outlet or mall. As part of the ad mechanism Google plans to compare the cost of transportation and balance it with the potential profit. This will be determined by using a number of real-time calculations as well as looking into the buyer's information such as their purchase history, current location, and potential forms of transport and of course, "the price competing advertisers are willing to pay for the customer to be delivered to alternate locations." It is safe to assume that higher-profile customers who are likely to splash out more cash will be offered better treatment whilst others make do with discounted bus tickets or taxi fares.

Google hopes its idea will make it easier for businesses to get customers into stores without having to invest in costly prime locations closer to high-traffic areas, easing a possible significant financial burden upon businesses.

Advertisers would also be able to customise who they want to target, to minimise customers who may not complete transactions once brought to the business place. For example, a theme park may prefer to display their ads to users indicating that they are attending with one or more children in order to boost profits. Or a cinema could package ticket purchases with transport arrangements to avoid users not disclosing the number of passengers.

The whole idea reminds me of the free, 'no pressure' taxi ride I once took to a centre of resort Tunisian carpet shop, when I was on holiday in that country. I would rather have walked. Furthermore with Google's track record of realising patents it's hard to say whether these ads with 'free' transport will ever materialise.



HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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A will you take a free bus to B&Q, a tram to TK Maxx, or a limo to Louis Vuitton?Oh, goody, a free taxi to Liuis Vuitton ... I'll use that daily.

Seriously though, would I use it? No.

Why? Well ...


.... part of the ad mechanism Google plans to compare the cost of transportation and balance it with the potential profit. This will be determined by using a number of real-time calculations as well as looking into the buyer's information such as their purchase history, current location, and potential forms of transport ....
Clearly, they need to know where you are to send a car, but I don't want Google knowing ANYTHING, anything at all, about my purchase history or personal data. Period.

I don't care if Louis Vuitton give me my purchases free as well, I don't want Google tracking me. I'd rather pay for my luggage, or new wallet, or whatever.

Advertisers would also be able to customise who they want to target, ....
Quite. They can only do that if they know quite a lot about me, in order to decide to target me, or not. And again, no, a free limo ride (or a free limo, for that matter) would not induce me to agree to that tracking, and more than store incentive cards do now.

I do not want, and will NEVER agree to stores or other businesses tracking me. I cannot always prevent it but there is NO remotely practical or economic incentive that they can offer me that will get me to agree to it, or voluntarily add to their databases.

In short .... no, shove it.
hope you dont have any plastic card you use in shops nor online then ;)
hellig
hope you dont have any plastic card you use in shops nor online then ;)
Reward cards? None.

Store credit cards? None.

Credit cards? One. Most months, zero transactions. I doubt there's been any monthly bill in, oh, 15 or 20 years, with more than a handful of transactions.

As I said, it's not ALWAYS possible to avoid leaving a plastic footprint. The most obvious example being booking foreign hotels and car hire. It's pretty much do it by plastic, or don't do it. And even that, I don't do anything like as often as I used to.

The few transactions I do do will be for one of several reasons. First, occasionally, a high value transaction where it both confers Consumer Credit Act protections (*) (though there have been some too high to be covered (*2)) and makes the account worthwhile to the CC company. Second, a few from time to time, for that second reason, to keep some card activity. And third, the rare occasions when I buy at a distance. But buy "online"? Not really. A few small value transactions via PayPal, but direct online purchases? Maybe one every two years. I buy the vast majority of things in person, or on rare occasions, by phone (via plastic), but the huge majority in person, and usually, in cash.

And if I do give a company my name and address, I make it VERY clear, explicity clear in writing, I don't want it used for matketing purposes by them, or passed to anyone else for marketing purposes. It's ONLY to be used for necessry account maintenance purposes, for things required for the transaction, like address verification, or where they're legally required, like passing the address to the licencing authorities when you buy a TV, or DVLA when taking out car insurance.

Obviously, this has a cost implication. None of these cashback or referral discounts for me, for instance. And if I can buy it locally but cheaper online, I buy locally. I'd rather sacrifice the cashback or cost saving than sacrifice my privacy to corporate databases.

I rather doubt many people take that line. I'd bet that most will save the money. But then, they can't moan about the loss of privacy, or companies using data for marketing, or vast, complex "profiles" being used to "target" marketing at them, either. Not without being hypocrites, anyway.

Perhaps many people don't care about targeted adverts. Perhaps some prefer them. Fair enough. For them. But I do object, very strongly, and put my money where my mouth is. I do not want the advertising, so won't take the corporates 30 pieces of silver either.


(*) If ordering carpets, or a new kitchen, etc where you're expected to stump up a large, up-front deposit, THAT I put on a credit card.

(*2) Like a car. Well, some cars. ;)