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GrabTaxi sorry for 'Love Boobs? So does cancer' drive generating awareness for all the wrong reasons

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By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

October 9, 2015 | 5 min read

GrabTaxi, an Asian ride-hailing app, has apologised for a heavy-handed attempt at tackling breast cancer.

A campaign that operated under the mantra "Love Boobs? So does cancer" invoked the ire of some social media users despite its generally agreeable objective of cutting out breast cancer deaths. A bold attempt at addressing the issue quickly went south with the laddish delivery of the content and the GrabTaxi branded hashtag #GrabitBeatIt.

The firm went all in with its approach, including discounts for women commuting to breast cancer screening sites, celebrity endorsements, a pink rebrand for its taxis and a t-shirt drive urging supporters to carry to tagline on their persons.

GrabTaxi offered timeless advice to women too: “Every month you do your nails, go to the hair salon or go shipping on your pay day. Why not add another item to that list, which is to examine your breasts?”

A video, by Grim Film, accompanying the campaign has been removed from YouTube with it catalysing many of the sexism accusations - see below.

As a result, the firm very quickly issued on apology on Twitter.

The campaign did have its fans and its multi-pronged approach to tackling the issue has garned praise in its active markets Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Here comes the age old question. Was this a marketing masterclass or nightmare? Let us know in the comment section.

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