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Uber Lampoons Mayor De Blasio by Ariel Lederman

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Ariel Lederman discusses about Uber's war with Mayor De Blasio and the City. Click on this presentation to find out more.

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Uber Lampoons Mayor De Blasio by Ariel Lederman

  1. 1. Uber Lampoons Mayor De Blasio The war between Uber and NYC is, once again, firing hot.In an interesting twist of public relations, Uber is now offering riders in NYC an option that presents their version of the future if Mayor De Blasio gets his way. Messages including “No cars, see why” (directly blaming De Blasio) can pop up on users’ screens. This threatens a world in which Uber loses its ongoing battle against the city and the entrenched taxi industry. In concert with traditional television advertising blasting De Blasio, the messages are an innovative way to use PR to create a public outcry in support of their service. Of course, it could backfire spectacularly.
  2. 2. The subject of Uber’s ire is the bill that could limit the company from expanding the number of cars it offers in NYC. Forced limits would also limit Uber’s ability to compete against traditional taxi services. While New York is far from the only place in which Uber finds itself in a pitched battle for survival, the city is a harbinger of what is to come for the company across the globe. If they can win in NYC, the company has a firmer argument to use in its battles across the US and even abroad. If they lose, the outlook is comparatively dark. Knowing they can’t compete directly for political influence, Uber has turned to a populist support strategy. By appealing directly to their customer base, Uber can bring them directly into the fight. If customers feel like the fight is actually between their government and their personal ability to get an inexpensive ride, they are much more likely to take sides with increased intensity and volume. It’s a strategy that has already seen some success with other tech-based travel services. AirBnB won a similar battle in San Francisco using the same technique. Customers showed their support directly, scaring politicians into supporting the company against the entrenched business interests. If Uber has any hope of similar success, they must be successful in this campaign. Jokes and dystopian threats won’t be enough, though. They need to connect with customers beyond the level of an SNL sketch.
  3. 3. Ariel Lederman is a med student from USC.

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