Uber has started an ad campaign in British Columbia in a bid to woo more customers and explain that the province is dragging its feet over regulating the company. Oh yes, there’s also a shot at Edmonton in the campaign.
The ride-sharing giant has not been adopted in British Columbia as the province takes its time over drawing up a bylaw that it says will provide a solution to regulating Uber and keeping cabbies happy. While Uber has operated unregulated in numerous provinces before being legalized, it has found it hard in B.C. and particularly Vancouver. The city is the largest in North American to resist Uber’s advances.
Customers have generally been on Uber’s side, and the ad makes it clear that the province is stopping them from getting the service.
“Over 200,000 British Columbians have Uber — they just can’t use it here,” it starts
Through a series of talking heads, the advertisement offers tidbits like: “I’m not sure why Uber is not in Vancouver. It boggles my mind” and it’s “embarrassing” having to tell others “we don’t have this here.”
In reference to Edmonton, the ad says “Even Edmonton has Uber”. The Albertan city became the first municipality in Canada to legally adopt the ride-sharing market back in January. The city’s bylaws came into effect March 1, while B.C. is still awaiting its solutions.
Susie Heath, Uber Canada’s spokesperson, said the ad has merit.
“Two hundred thousand British Columbians have downloaded the Uber app. Over a quarter-million tourists have tried to use it in B.C. since 2015. In the last few years, ridesharing has been embraced in more than 460 cities in 70 countries around the world, including in over 40 across Canada.”