Two Hong Kong radio stations warned after running ‘misleading’ Uber advertisements

Communications Authority found complaints to be ‘justified’ and said they breached the Radio Advertising Code

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 August, 2017, 8:54pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 August, 2017, 8:55pm

In another blow to popular ride hailing app Uber, Hong Kong’s broadcasting watchdog has issued warnings to two of the city’s commercial radio stations for playing “misleading” advertisements by the company.

The advertisements, which were broadcast between May and October last year, encouraged people to become Uber drivers or ride as passengers.

Complaints were subsequently lodged by several members of the public against Commercial Radio for “misleading” advertisements, saying that they encouraged people to use a service “which was alleged to be illegal” and carried passengers for hire or reward without a car hire permit and third-party insurance.

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A separate complaint was also filed against Metro Finance radio for an Uber advertisement stating that drivers and passengers using the service would be covered by a global insurance policy.

Regarding the complaints against Commercial Radio, the Communications Authority found the complaints to be “justified” and breached the Radio Advertising Code. The authority ”warned” the radio station to observe the code “more closely”.

The watchdog also found the complaint against Metro radio to be “justified” and “strongly advised” the company to review the code carefully.

The Communications Authority took in to consideration the ongoing court cases involving seven drivers who were arrested in August 2015 for using a car for hire without a permit and driving without the proper insurance.

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The Post attempted to contact Uber for comment but has yet to receive a reply.

This is the latest piece of bad news for the car hire company in the past two years.

In May, 22 Uber drivers were arrested by police, leading to a chilling effect on other drivers. The decrease in drivers resulted in longer waiting periods for passengers.

The company has tried to appeal to the government to find a way to legalise its service, but has so far been given the cold shoulder.

Earlier this month, Uber increased minimum fares in order to pay drivers a better income, following accusations it was leaving drivers with very little after costs.