Even after last month's "Ok, Boomer” debacle, in which BMW replied to Twitter critics by using an outdated meme (which it quickly walked back), the company is now rolling out another controversial campaign. According to the website Motoring Research, BMW will start putting up smart billboards in the UK that let BMW owners know whether or not their warranty is expired.
Initially, reports suggested that these billboards would read vehicle license plates, dig into personal info, and "shame" specific owners that lacked BMW factory warranties. But BMW has since walked back the report, telling Motoring Research that the ads will target "the majority of BMW models older than 35 months," and suggest those owners purchase a new warranty online, assuming they need one.
"No personal identifiable information applicable to GDPR is used in the [Vehicle Detection Technology] process nor does VDT ever have access to any personal data," BMW told the website.
The smart billboards will use a "Vehicle Detection Technology" that determines the type of vehicle and the vehicle's age, tailoring the ad to those specific owners. But only those owners sitting stationary at the intersection will see the ads. BMW says the goal of these billboards is to connect more personally with owners in order to help drive purchases new warranties.
"Our customers expect an elevated level of customer service and personalized digital marketing is just one way in which we can engage with them at this expected level," Steve Cann from BMW Financial Services told Motoring Research.
Like it or not, BMW owners in the UK should expect to see these billboards popping up within the next few weeks. The tailored ads will go up at intersections in major cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Newcastle.