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Uber wins against Taxi Council over misleading ads, claiming ride-share service ‘unsafe’

NSW Taxi Council - logoAds launched by the NSW Taxi Council suggesting that people were putting their safety at risk by using Uber have been slated by the Advertising Claims Board after Uber lodged a complaint against the campaign.

The radio and print campaign by the council was hosted on the NSW Taxi Council’s website, with the Council defending the campaign, saying it did not fall within the remit of the Claims Board.

“The NSW Taxi Council responded to the complaints stating that all claims made in the advertisements could be reasonably substantiated,” the Board said.

“The NSW Taxi Council also argued that the complaint was outside the scope of the Claims Board because the complaint was made after advertising had already ceased to be published or broadcast, and the advertisements were only available via the Council’s website, as part of excluded public relations communications.”

Taxi Council ads branded misleading as Uber wins

Advertising Claims Board: NSW Taxi Council ads against Uber “misleading”

Uber said claims made in the campaign were misleading and deceptive because its ride-sharing services are safe.

The Board rejected the claim by the NSW Taxi Council that the complaint did not fall under its remit.

“The Claims Board determined that, while the advertisements were only accessible through a section of the website that included public relations materials, in this case the actual advertisements were published and made accessible via the NSW Taxi Council’s website, including links to the advertisements themselves. As such, the public relations exemption did not apply,” it said.

In concluded that the claims were misleading and “likely to cause damage to a competitor”.

The advertising has been discontinued and the links to the ads removed from the Taxi Council’s website.

However, the press release announcing the campaign remains on the Taxi Council website.

“The NSW Taxi Industry has launched the second phase of its campaign highlighting the risks of illegal taxi services and the importance of regulated passenger services for the people of NSW,” the release said.

“The new ads reminds passengers that the NSW Taxi Industry puts safety first. CEO of the NSW Taxi Council, Mr Roy Wakelin-King, said that the NSW Government has, over a number of years, put in place important laws to protect the public.

“‘Allowing illegal taxi services to operate puts the public at risk and it would be a backward step for transport services in NSW,’ he said.

“We cannot afford to go back in time where the public and drivers are exposed to substandard operating systems that remove basic safety provisions’.”

Simon Canning

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