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Victorian Taxi Association admits defeat and sacks PR agency responsible for #YourTaxis

YourTaxisThe Victorian Taxi Association has admitted its widely panned #YourTaxis campaign was a mistake and fired the PR firm behind it citing an “inappropriate” tweet published on Remembrance Day.

Kicking off this week the #YourTaxi campaign was aimed at giving people a place to talk about their experiences in taxis, however the overwhelming majority of feedback was negative.

VTA CEO David Samuel has admitted the “concept and delivery” of the campaign was not right adding the association has made the decision to “part ways” with the agency responsible, understood to be Ellis Jones, despite initially standing by the campaign as a success.

“Our intention was to engage with the community and open a direct dialogue with customers about their experiences using Victorian taxi services so we could make genuine changes to improve the experience, safety and security for our customers,” Samuel said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the YourTaxis campaign concept and its delivery did not match our intention. We were aware of many of the issues that passengers face but the campaign concept and delivery showed us the true extent of their concerns.  We take full responsibility for the campaign and will be undertaking a full review of our strategy. As a result we have made the decision to part ways with our agency.

“Our focus is now on creating an action plan to address the issues that have been raised and be clear with customers about how this information will be used to improve taxi services in Victoria.

“I have asked for an immediate audit of the initiative to ensure that all passenger issues are captured and that all our future actions match our intentions.”

Ellis Jones' credit on the YourTaxis website which has been removed

Ellis Jones’ credit on the YourTaxis website which has since been removed

Mumbrella understands integrated communications agency Ellis Jones has worked on the #YourTaxis campaign and had managed the website for the Victorian Taxi Association.

The decision to fire the agency follows on from the association tweeting that it was “reviewing” its relationship with the PR agency following an “inappropriate” tweet published on Wednesday around Remembrance Day.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.58.18 AMThe association deleted and apologised for the tweet sent on behalf of the YourTaxis campaign celebrating the 600,000 taxi trips taken by war veterans and widows for treatment purposes.

According to the apology issued by the Victorian Taxi Association, the tweet was “sent on the official @yourtaxis Twitter handle by an external supplier but the VTA accepts that it should have been reviewed and vetoed by its own staff”.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.50.25 AM

The tweet followed on from the widely-panned #YourTaxis social media push, which while lambasted across social media and media outlets for being a failure, was originally celebrated as a success by the Victorian Taxi Association.

In a statement issued on their website the association said: “The outpouring of feedback on social media is being reported as a social media fail of epic proportions – not from our perspective.

“Social media is designed to offer the opportunity to engage directly with the community. YourTaxis has delivered exactly this.

“The response on social media exemplifies the challenges we face as an industry and goes to underscore the motivations behind the YourTaxis campaign. To date, Victorian taxi customers haven’t had a direct avenue to communicate with the industry.”

VTA and Ellis Jones have been approached for comment.

Miranda Ward

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