LONDON: British taxi firm Addison Lee has been criticized by friends of murder victim Rebecca Dykes for advertising its “safer” cars in online stories about the British diplomat, who was killed by a driver working for Uber, a major competitor, according to UK media reports.
The firm, which prides itself on “carefully vetting” drivers, ran the campaign on Twitter and several online news outlets.
The minicab operation owned by the Addison Lee Group said the advertisement had “inadvertently appeared in the Twitter feed relating to the tragic death” of Dykes, according to the Sunday Times.
The advertisement included a link to the Addison Lee app, a picture of revellers and the slogan: “Rely on us to drive you safely into 2018. Book your New Year’s ride with Addison Lee”. It appeared in searches including #RebeccaDykes, #murder, #personalsecurity.
Addison Lee canceled the advertisement 11 days ago after complaints that it was “insensitive,” but denied having seized on the Twitter activity surrounding the murder to increase traffic to its app.
An Addison Lee spokesperson said: “(We) regret that our advertisement inadvertently appeared in the Twitter feed relating to the tragic death of Rebecca Dykes.
“As soon as we became aware of its positioning we took steps to withdraw it and we are acting to ensure that this situation does not reoccur.”
The company has confirmed that it has now added “additional safeguards” to ensure that future campaigns do not appear in line with similar circumstances, the Sunday Times reported.
Dykes, 30, who worked at the British embassy in Beirut was raped and killed by an Uber driver on Dec. 16.