I wrote about a range of ways that Google may be considering placing place ads on Maps and in Street View last week. Now RWW focuses on a patent application in which Google suggests it may replace billboards and movie poster images in Street View with new ads:
In this patent, Google describes // how it plans to identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in these images and give advertisers the ability to replace these images with more up-to-date ads. In addition, Google also seems to plan an advertising auction for unclaimed properties.
In Google’s example, the software could identify the marquis and individual window posters on a theater property and replace them with new information. Through this, a theater could promote a new play in Street View, even if the actual Street View image is completely out of date.
The RWW post also raises the legal question of what happens when a Clear Channel outdoor ad (e.g., for Subway) is replaced in Street View with one for McDonald’s? This is a question that hasn’t been addressed by courts. But if Google were ever to implement such a system it would likely result in a legal challenge.