NSW Taxis Respond To Claims Of Fear-Mongering With Anti-Uber Ad

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have noticed that taxi drivers aren’t too fucking happy with Uber round these here parts.

They’ve been striking…

…lodging legal action against them, and are now behind an advertising scare campaign that compares ridesharing to hitch-hiking.

The ads are part of a nation-wide rollout plan, so that every Aussie gets the message: rideshare at your own risk.


P.TV spoke to Roy Wakelin-King, Chief Executive at the NSW Taxi Council, who denied that these ads were directed at Uber (or rather, the cost-effective UberX), but were aiming to warn the public of the dangers of “illegal ridesharing organisations”.

“The key issue here is that illegal ridesharing, without checks for compliance, checks for criminality, checks that you’re a fit and proper person to drive a passenger vehicle is that it’s no different to getting into a car with a complete stranger without any safety systems that the government requires when you’re providing taxi transport services, so in that respect it is no different to hitchhiking.”

“That’s what the point of this campaign is about, it’s about raising awareness of illegal taxi transport activity that puts the public at risk where there are no service safety systems in place to support the safety of the passengers, and indeed the drivers for that matter.”

The ads got a grilling on Gruen this week; controversial marketing – like, oh, ones that suggest you might get straight-up fucking murdered if you don’t follow commercially-fortunate advice – are kind of their ‘thing’.

Host Wil Anderson said they were “invoking Ivan Milat“, but it was panellist Claire Salvetti who absolutely ripped into them:

“I think there’s two problems with that ad. The first one is that that is classic scaremongering. I mean, it is extremely threatening that’s what might happen if you step into an Uber.”

“The second thing is I just don’t think it’s true. I mean the reality is that if you’re hitchhiking and you jump into a random stranger’s car, then who knows what might happen, but with an Uber you book through an app, you get to see who the driver is, the driver’s rated, you can send the driver to your friends before you get in the car, there’s no way you can compare. Essentially what that ad is a completely empty threat.”

Russel Howcroft – a Gruen panellist staple – stuck the knife in even further:

“Essentially what that ad is to me is describing some taxi experiences I’ve had.”

Whoops, sorry, we almost just slipped in a big ol’ pile of sass.

Image: Chris Wirasinha.