Your Next Radio Station Change, Brought to You by Allstate?

Cadillac XTS CUE display

Inside my car is about the only place left where I can find complete solitude and turn off the outside world if choose. I can either play my Korn albums as loud as I want, listen to NPR if I choose or bask in the glory of silence and a pleasing exhaust note.

As Frank Costanza used to say, it’s my “Serenity now!”

Aside from the outdoor advertising along the roads I travel, when I’m in my car I can be completely free of ads from companies hungry for my money. Soon, though, even the sacred space inside our cars may be fertile ground for new advertising opportunities. One of those could be ads built right into the infotainment systems of new cars.

Want to turn up the air conditioning? Doing so could be brought to you by the good people at Jiffy Lube. Changing a radio station could come courtesy of Allstate.

Reuters reports that General Motors is considering selling ad space inside its in-car infotainment systems. The article says,

The average American spends just over four hours a week commuting to work, according to federal data. This potentially gives advertisers a chance to promote their brands to a captive audience.

I don’t like this one bit, even if it is hypothetical at the moment.

Built-in advertising does seem inevitable as our cars continue to integrate with our tech-laden lives and modern consumers find ways to avoid traditional advertising. I feel like ads built right into our cars cross a line, though, if we can’t opt out of receiving them. At the very least, we should receive some kind of compensation for accepting the ads. A free upgrade to the top-of-line entertainment system might do it. Or a discount on the car’s purchase price.

One thing for sure, allowing advertisements into such personal places will only feel like an intrusion to people and won’t be well received.

Would you be okay with advertisements on your car’s infotainment system?


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  1. Absolutely NOT! I can’t even stand commercials on the radio. That would drive me nuts. If General Motors actually did this I think it would make a lot of people think twice about purchasing a new GM vehicle if they couldn’t opt out of that annoyance.

  2. Leave it to the clueless folks at Government Motors to come up with yet another feature to make their cars unsaleable. Any responsible CEO would ferret out everyone involved in proposing such an idea and show them the door, and quickly. What’s next, a “fee” for putting luggage in the boot?

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