• Uber Doubles Down On Ad War with Bill De Blasio

    Uber is ramping up its public relations battle against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio with an extension of its ad campaign hammering his regulatory crackdown into August.

    De Blasio drew a mixture of fury and mockery from the tech company with his plan to cap the number of new Uber drivers for one year, severely limiting the company’s almost exponential growth in the city. The city council is expected to vote on the measure this week.

    The ride-sharing app has, however, decided to stand its ground against the cap and appears more than comfortable playing the role of a happy warrior taking on established interests on behalf of consumers.

    Uber recently added a new de Blasio feature to its app showing customers what the effect of the city’s cap could be, with wait times of more than 25 minutes and a link to a petition opposing the measure.

    De Blasio hit back in a New York Daily News op-ed writing “our responsibilities as public servants are clear: We’re here to keep people safe, make sure workers and consumers are treated fairly and keep this city growing and competitive.”

    Uber argues the cap could hit the poorest neighbourhoods hardest as traditional taxis are often reluctant to go travel to the outer boroughs and minority neighbourhoods.

    As well as increasing wait times, preventing an increase in the number of Uber drivers also runs the risk of more frequent surge pricing with demand often outstripping supply, argues Business Insider’s Maya Kosoff.

    The New York Post reports Uber’s ad buy could double from $5 million to $10 million and it hasn’t shied away from pointing out de Blasio’s links with the taxi industry. Taxi companies shelled out $350,000 to support the mayor’s campaign in 2013.

    Uber is no stranger to regulatory clampdowns. Following a host of disputes in Europe and the U.S. the company hired former Barack Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to improve the company’s image.

    Hillary Clinton recently launched a thinly veiled attack on Uber telling an audience in New York “I’ll crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages.” (RELATED: Hillary Bashes Uber, But Her PAC Spent THOUSANDS Using it)

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