Australian #yourtaxis social campaign backfires

When the Victorian Taxi Association put out a call on social media for users to ‘share their taxi stories’, they certainly got what they asked for, but perhaps not quite what they were expecting.

The #yourtaxis campaign generated negative and some positive feedback from users in Victoria.

The #yourtaxis campaign generated negative and some positive feedback from users in Victoria. Image by alixanasuphoria / CC BY-SA 2.0

In an effort to generate good news stories about the local taxi industry, which is facing stiff competition from Uber, the #yourtaxis hashtag was set up on Monday, inviting users to ‘Tell your taxi story!’ And tell them they did. The #yourtaxi Twitter feed was soon flooded with Tweets outlining Melbournians poor user experiences. Stories ranged from inconvenient:

“Driver said he didn't know where Flinders Street Station was and had me direct him there. Flinders. Street. Station.”

“Sick of having to book wheelchair accessible cabs for 2 hours earlier than I actually need them to make up for how late they are”

“Constant refusal for short fares from Melb airport, reduced to tears until they would agree to take me. Twice.”

to disturbing:

“driver fell asleep on freeway and almost wiped out car in next lane because he'd pulled an all-nighter”

“More than once, Caucasian drivers have spent the whole trip ranting about how terrible non-Caucasian drivers are”

“taxi driver had 2 bottles of (presumably) his own urine in the cup holders...then seeing he's got 5 more at your feet

The social media campaign #yourtaxis produced some interesting responses.

The social media campaign #yourtaxis produced some interesting responses. Image by Reinis Traidas / CC BY 2.0

Before long, the social media team behind the campaign was in full damage control. VTA chief executive David Samuel released a statement denying the campaign had gone wrong, saying "This was never about selling something, this is about starting a direct conversation with everyone who uses Victorian taxis… The response online over the past 24 hours isn't anything we didn't expect. We asked for feedback and we got it. The good and the bad and everything in between.”

The social media campaign #yourtqaxis produced interesting responses.

The social media campaign #yourtqaxis produced interesting responses. Image by eGuide Travel / CC BY 2.0

And while the good stories were hard to find, the social media team were still able to see the funny side of things:

Hi @yourtaxis a cab driver once ran me over and made me spill my delicious Tasty Toobs. I would like a replacement bag please #YourTaxi

Hi xxx, we see your Toobs and we raise you Cheezles. Email us and we will send you some. yourtaxis@victaxis.com.au

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