16 Nov BBC slammed for promoting Uber AGAIN
Zoom.taxi chief executive Matthew Kendall has slammed a decision by the BBC to once again promote transport company Uber in one of its flagship drama programmes.
Despite already receiving complaints from an August episode of Holby City where the app was promoted by a character, BBC writers on its sister programme Casualty decided to once again name check the controversial company.
Writing again to the Director General Tony Hall, Mr Kendall pointed out that Uber has ‘had a detrimental effect on the livelihood of many small businesses and staff in the industry.’
‘You wrote back to me saying that you felt one mention did not give undue prominence which is why I was so disappointed that once again a large multinational company was promoted on prime time TV,’ he added.
‘We as a company were established to help existing companies, which provide jobs and tax revenue in the local economy, to compete with a multi billion pound organisation that can afford lobbyists in government and tax advisors to avoid paying higher rates of tax which smaller companies are unable to do.
‘Once again, I believe it was irresponsible of the programme to promote one company over other smaller companies which it could easily have done. Given the fact that the attention of writers should have been drawn to this issue from the previous incident, I think there needs to be an apology and clarification from the BBC that it does not recommend the use of one private hire company over another and an apology to all smaller companies, some of whom are struggling to survive, for the promotion of a business rival on a license fee funded programme.’
Mr Kendall said he would “continue to push for fair treatment of SMEs in broadcasting, particularly the BBC which is funded by the license fee payer.”
“SMEs are the backbone of our economy and rather than name check multinationals, to the stage where their company name is becoming a verb, I think it should do more to be fair and balanced.”