Brand Safety Creativity The Future of Work

After trying to deny them, Uber is using driver rights as a marketing USP


By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

July 1, 2021 | 4 min read

Uber has launched a national advertising campaign, ‘Only On Uber’, highlighting the guarantees that all drivers will now receive as part of the company’s commitment to treat drivers as workers – despite its previous battle at the UK supreme court against the classification.

Only on Uber

‘Only On Uber’ highlights Uber drivers’ worker benefits and protections in an attempt to recruit new drivers to the firm

The out-of-home (OOH) campaign ‘Only On Uber’ highlights Uber drivers’ worker benefits and protections in an attempt to recruit new drivers to the firm, and also emphasizes that Uber is currently the only ride-hailing app that ensures that its drivers earn at least the National Living Wage, as well as receiving a pension and holiday pay.

The backstory

Uber previously underwent a lengthy legal battle to maintain its drivers’ working status as third-party contractors and not workers, which saw those driving for the taxi-hailing app firm deprived of basic employment protections including minimum wage and holiday pay.

The ruling that Uber drivers should indeed be classed as workers was made by the UK supreme court in February this year and was described as “historic” by the trade union GMB.

Despite its reluctance to welcome the classification, Uber has now placed driver rights at the front and center of its latest national ad campaign – emphasizing they can now retain flexibility to choose if, when and where they drive, and that they can drive with multiple apps at the same time.

Drivers can now also be represented by GMB following the first deal between a trade union and a ride-hailing platform.

An Uber spokesperson told The Drum: “The supreme court decision gave us a clearer path forward and made clear that drivers across the whole industry should receive worker rights.

“Only with Uber do drivers now get these protections, and not with any other operator. We are also, due to the recovery of towns and cities across the UK, now encouraging another 20,000 drivers to sign up to the platform, all of which will receive holiday pay and pensions.”

Driving recruitment

Despite a difficult pandemic period, the campaign follows Uber trips in the UK recovering to pre-pandemic levels after hospitality restrictions were lifted on May 17.

Uber’s total number of ride bookings plummeted in 2020 due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions – although Uber said its delivery bookings rose 166% from the same period the previous year.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said of the campaign: “As cities open up and people start moving again, we are encouraging new drivers to sign up.

“We are proud to offer every driver the rights and protections they deserve – a guaranteed wage, holiday pay and a pension – but we’re not the only player in town. Drivers work with multiple operators and deserve the same standard of work on every trip.”

Brand Safety Creativity The Future of Work

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