Jimmy Macagna says he hates it when service lounge TVs in the dealerships he works for broadcast competitors' commercials to waiting customers.
"But dealing with it wasn't a high priority," says Macagna, marketing director of Pepe Auto Group in White Plains, N.Y., which owns five luxury-brand dealerships in the New York area. "Until the 2016 election."
That year, TV news coverage of the contentious presidential campaign generated heated complaints and even squabbles among customers in the lounges, Macagna says.
"We're not partisan," he told Fixed Ops Journal. "Customers having arguments is not a good experience. We had to take action."
Like thousands of other dealerships, Pepe's two Mercedes-Benz stores now subscribe to products that enable them to control the TV content in their service lounges — to promote their own messages, banish other dealerships' ads and eliminate programming that might upset customers.