A paid-for Facebook post for the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, seen on 27 May 2018. The ad stated, “Uber- unsafe for passengers, unsafe for road users. Why trust them both with your data?” Beneath that text, a photo which looked like a CCTV image depicted an arm reaching out of the window of a car and grabbing a purse from a pedestrian’s bag. Text in the bottom right of the image stated “UBER-CAM -1”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad denigrated Uber.
Licensed Taxi Drivers Association Ltd t/a LTDA did not provide a substantive response to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by LTDA’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must not discredit or denigrate another product or marketer. We noted that LTDA referred to Uber as unsafe for passengers and road users, and questioned whether passengers should trust Uber with their data. We considered the picture, in the context of the ad, was intended to portray an Uber driver stealing a woman’s purse. In any case the image, as well as the text in the Facebook post, created the impression that Uber drivers were untrustworthy and took part in illegal behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad denigrated Uber and was therefore in breach of the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition) 12 rule 3.42 3.42 Marketing communications must not discredit or denigrate another product, marketer, trade mark, trade name or other distinguishing mark. (Imitation and Denigration).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the LTDA not to denigrate Uber. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.