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Uber joins other tech giants ramping up advertising with hunt for global agencies

Ride-hailing giant Uber is looking for both a global creative agency and a media agency according to a report in Adweek.

Uber uses BBH in the UK and Deutsch in the US, neither of which have big global networks although they’re part of Publicis Groupe and IPG respectively.

Uber is busily trying to clean up its act following the appointment of former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to replace Travis Kalanick but bad news follows it around like an unwanted dog: the perpetrator of this week’s truck terrorist outrage in New York was a Uber driver.

Whichever agency wins the creative task will have to cope with accusations of sexual harassment by some Uber drivers, not the easiest task in the current climate, and also claims of exploitation in the new-style gig economy.

That won’t deter a number of big agencies and networks from one of the few new business opportunities seeming to carry a substantial budget. FMCG giants, the mainstays of the ad business for decades, are cutting back to meet short term share price targets, hitting the big ad holding companies in the process.

Tech businesses, if Uber can be so defined as it’s based on an app, have taken their place to a degree with Apple, Facebook and Google big spenders and Amazon recently joining the party, going from no adspend to the low billions in a few years. Uber describes itself as a “global transportation technology company.” Tech companies are now the biggest advertisers on the UK’s ITV; ironic considering that their marketing offerings are usually depicted as the enemies of traditional advertising.

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