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Nosy billboards. (Circuits).

What if billboards had ears? A California company is testing freeway signs equipped with sensors that can tell which radio stations are playing in up to 85 percent of passing cars. Alaris Media Network says that from the radio programming--whether rock `n' roll, sports, talk, or news--it can deduce information about the probable income, sex, race, and buying habits of the drivers, and display ads aimed at them. If a lot of rush-hour drivers are tuned to a radio station known to have affluent or educated listeners, for instance, the ads on the signs would be aimed at those demographics. The billboards might switch ads every hour. The concept intrigues some advertisers. But skeptics doubt the ads can be tailored to a specific group. "Them are way too many people driving by to make that conclusion," one ad exec says.
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Article Details
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Author:Richtel, Matt
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 21, 2003
Previous Article:Ozoned out. (International).
Next Article:Neverbored. (Q&A).

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