On-screen ads will try to give Otis riders a lift

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Otis Elevator riders in New York, Paris and Sydney may soon have something besides passing floor numbers to stare at during their rides. It announced an agreement with Next Generation Network to air short, silent commercials on videoscreens it will install in its elevators, beginning in those three markets. Otis' e-Displays will air content provided by Next Generation Network and piped in via Internet technology, with telecom help from IBMCorp.

"Our mission in life is to identify the high traffic choke points where people have to stand in line or wait," said Gerald Joyce, president of the electronic billboard company, which has been airing ads in convenience stores and at gas pumps.

Mr. Joyce, who called this "truly bricks-and-mortar meets cyberspace," hopes to have 10,000 displays installed in elevators during the next year.

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