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Uber To Begin Advert Displays Before And During Rides

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Ride-hailing company, Uber has launched its global advertising unit intending to create a $1bn business within the next two years by displaying promotions within its apps, on top of cars, and in the back seats.

The unit which will be led by former Amazon advertising executive, Mark Grether, was formed earlier this year to build on its current ad business, which mostly consists of ads within its Uber Eats app, as well as car-top billboards in a few markets.

Uber’s Chief Executive, Dara Khosrowshahi has said the company was targeting $1bn in gross ad bookings by 2024, on an annualised basis.

In the second quarter of this year, the existing ad business had annual gross bookings run rate of $350mn, Khosrowshahi said during an investor conference last month.

Uber said its advertising platform was live in dozens of countries and would expand its international footprint over the next year.

The new ad formats, which have been piloted in some markets, include displaying promotions within the Uber app to customers as they book or complete a journey. Brands will also be able to have emails sent to Uber’s 122mn active users globally, or place ads on the homepage of the Uber Eats app.

The company is piloting a scheme in Los Angeles and San Francisco in which tablets attached to the back of car seats are used to display trip information and advertising. Riders would have “full control” over any ads with sound, Uber said.

“Through our advertising division, we can help leading brands grow their relationships with consumers by connecting them at a moment when a customer is uniquely attentive,” Grether said in a statement on Wednesday.

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