Hong Kong's fleet of taxis is going hi-tech with Asia's first outdoor mobile digital advertising platform. Taxis with static outdoor media advertising on their roofs have been around for some time, but 30 of the fleet will soon be displaying liquid-crystal display panels on their tops with digital advertisements connected to the global positioning system. Mantise Media, a local start-up firm, yesterday launched the system that will operate on the GPS and 3G mobile networks offering location, time and even temperature-specific advertising packages. Fast-food chain Fairwood and Sa Sa Cosmetics are the company's first clients. It is the first outdoor mobile digital advertising platform in Hong Kong - other companies such as Roadshow and Focus Media sell indoor digital media in buses and at fixed locations such as lift lobbies. The system will broadcast digital advertising messages as well as real-time traffic and weather information through the 3.5G mobile network. The firm plans to boost the number of taxis with LCDs to 200 by the end of the year and 500 next year. Mantise vice-president Douglas Khoo, an advertising veteran, says advertisers can ensure their advertisements are broadcast at specific locations and times. 'There will be 160 spots per taxi per day and they can request their advertisements to be aired in specific locations such as Causeway Bay and Central,' Mr Khoo told Media Eye. The delivery platform is flexible and can be tailored to meet advertisers' requests. For example, a company selling cold drinks or ice-cream could request their messages be displayed when the temperature reaches 32 degrees Celsius. Mantise's platform targets taxi passengers, people on the street and commuters on buses or trams. The company will also work with advertisers to provide more interactive features such as coupons that can be downloaded from people's mobiles to raise passenger and public awareness of their advertisements, says chief executive Barry Ma. Market watchers told Media Eye that Mantise's business model needed a more creative approach in order to reach sufficient people. 'Solely display-based advertisements on taxis will not generate a sufficient response,' one said. Ma family may pull off gambit Oriental Press Group, which publishes the best-selling Oriental Daily News newspaper and sister publication the Sun, is on the way to going private after controlling shareholder the Ma family launched a voluntary cash offer of 95 HK cents per share to acquire the shares it does not already own. Unlike PCCW's privatisation, which needed the approval of minority shareholders, the voluntary offer will become mandatory once more than 90 per cent of Oriental's shareholders accept. The family will then take the company private. The Mas already hold a 61.45 per cent stake in the company. Oriental first listed on August 18, 1987. Market watchers believe the offer could secure support from minority shareholders, despite the offer price being at a 14.7 per cent discount to the company's net asset value of HK$1.16. Shares in Oriental yesterday surged 14.63 per cent to 94 HK cents.