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Uber’s cheery new U.K. safety ad awkwardly lands after U.S. ride-share murder

Uber’s cheery new U.K. safety ad awkwardly lands after U.S. ride-share murder

Last week, a 21-year-old University of South Carolina student mistook another car for the Uber she had just called, and was kidnapped and murdered. It was a brutal isolated incident that also happens to encapsulate many fears associated with ride-sharing. South Carolina legislators have since introduced legislation to ensure Uber and Lyft drivers are more easily identifiable to customers, and college campuses have been working to raise safety awareness of fake ride-shares.

As a result of this horrific crime, there’s been plenty of talk and media attention around safety. It also just happens to coincide with a new Uber ad campaign in the U.K. that revolves around…rider safety.

Created by ad agency 72andSunny Amsterdam, the spot takes on the cheery guise of an airplane safety message, replete with reminders to buckle your seatbelt. It happily runs down the list of safety features the company has, including driver information, the ability for family and friends to track your ride, and the monitoring of driver hours to avoid asleep-at-the-wheel scenarios.

While the timing of such a happy-go-lucky ad so soon after a grisly murder associated with ride-sharing seems initially awkward, the focus on safety is a smart move. Despite the recent tragedy and plenty of other past issues, the ad suggests Uber is taking safety issues seriously. Now it just has to make sure the company backs up their talk by actually making rides safer.

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