Published on September 23rd, 2009 | by Allan12
JC Decaux take “no such thing as bad publicity” adage too far
JC Decaux launched its Dublin Bikes last week to much positive fanfare. This week it has two flat tyres having ordered Fusio to remove its Dublin Bikes iPhone app. I asked both parties for a statement. Fusio was the only one to get back to me:
Before starting development on the Dublin Bikes App Fusio contacted Dublin City Council in July to discuss it with them. They provided us with a map of the proposed locations for the stations and seemed to think the app was a good idea.
We proceeded with development and launched the app in the Apple iTunes Store on the day that Dublin Bikes launched. It quickly became the most popular Irish app in the store and was downloaded approximately 3,000 times. We received very positive feedback from users and from the press.
A few days later JC Decaux’s French office contacted us demanding that the app be removed. We asked them to put their request in writing which they did and after a further threatening email from them we decided it was in our best interests to pull the app. We were not earning any revenue from it and do not have the resources to fight any legal battle with them.
We are, of course, disappointed at their actions and find it surprising that they would close down something that was promoting their service. They did mention that they intended to launch their own app at some point which they were going to charge for however the amount of revenue that they would generate from this would not cover the development costs.
Fusio are in the process of developing a number of other iPhone apps which should be launched over the next month.
Fusio was making no revenue from this app and was actually aiding in the user experience. My own view on this is JC Decaux should have had an app ready to roll with this service, and in the absence of that kind of foresight should have made Fusio an offer instead of going off to reinvent the wheel.
Lecraic thinks it’s a branding issue, and @midnightcourt suggests database protection. Michele thinks JC Decaux doesn’t want good publicity and the Irish Times cover it here.
In the absence of a JC Decaux statement I’m speculating on the asshole hypothesis.