Face-recognition adverts to hit the streets

Interactive advertisements which can tell the difference between men and women before playing different messages are being launched this week.

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The high-tech adverts use facial-recognition technology to discern whether the person looking at them is a man or woman, before selecting a pre-programmed message to play.

The trial adverts are being run by children's charity Plan UK as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the lack of education for girls in the world's poorest countries - titled "Because I Am a Girl".

The adverts will use a camera to identify whether the viewer has a male or female face shape and features and if it decides a woman is watching it will play a 40-second message.

If it decides the viewer is a man then it will simply direct him to the organisation's website - the intention being to show men what it feels like to be deprived of information.

The £30,000 advert is to be unveiled on a bus stop on Oxford Street on Wednesday.

The camera looks at features such as the distance between eyes, width of nose, length of jawline and cheekbone shape.

Plan UK chief executive Marie Staunton said: "We're not giving men and boys the choice to see the full ad on this occasion - so they get a glimpse of what it's like to have basic choices taken away."

Clear Channel UK, the advertising company behind the technology, said that other clients were already in negotiations to run commercial campaigns using the system.

What do you reckon? Should these kind of adverts be allowed?