Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo are sorry. Ranking the apology commercials

New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is your driver. The video begins and ends with the new guy. He offers the obligatory reminder of how good things were …

Apologizing isn’t easy. You know this. We know this. Washington lives by this. But maybe it can become a thing.

Three major corporations have realized this month that sorry doesn’t have to be the hardest word. Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo have released national television ads that, in their own ways, are mea culpas. Each has a mess on its hands – from fake news at Facebook to fake accounts at Wells Fargo to very real horror stories at Uber. And that’s just for starters.

But Americans have an amazing (and sometimes puzzling) capacity to forgive. You just have to ask first. These three did – with artful visuals, musical interludes and varying degrees of contriteness. How’d they do? Our Sorry Rankings:

3. Facebook: “Here Together”

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The pitch: Facebook goes fully Old Flame here: “Remember when things were fun and new? We had so much in common. Then things got kind of crazy. Was it me? I don’t know. But I know we can be good again.” It’s a potent mix of nostalgia and second chances — two of the pillars Facebook was built upon.

The apology: The weakest of the three. “But then something happened,” the narrator says. “We had to deal with spam, clickbait, fake news, and data misuse. That’s a little too “mistakes were made” and not enough “we made mistakes.” Then again, that’s about as much as Mark Zuckerberg has been able to bring himself to say.

The fix: “From now on Facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy.” What will that be? How will it be different? We don’t know, because that would take acknowledging how things went wrong.

The takeaway: We do remember when things were good — the FB connections, the old/new friends — and the ad is deft at stirring that spirit. But we’re arm’s length with Facebook now — still friendly, but more wary. No reasons here to be less so.

2. Uber – Moving Forward

The pitch: Uber is much more straightforward: We’re here, and we’re headed there. New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is your driver. The video begins and ends with the new guy. He offers the obligatory reminder of how good things were (“We changed the way people get around”) and the look ahead (“It’s time to move in a new direction.”) It’s all very one-point-to-another. That’s not a bad thing.

The apology: Still not direct, but better. “If there are times we fall short,” Khosrowshahi says, as if there’s any other reason he’s talking and we’re watching. But OK. It’s the next part that’s important.

The fix: “You’re going to see improvements to our service, like enhanced background checks, 24/7 customer support, better pickups and ride quality for both riders and drivers.” And more: “New leadership and a new culture.” Strong.

The takeaway: Happy riders. Happy drivers. It’s elementary stuff. People don’t need a lot of extras with Uber, and the ad appeals to the straightforward simplicity we want. “You’ve got my word,” the new guy says. That’s a good start.

1. Wells Fargo – Earning Back Your Trust

The pitch: Best of both worlds. A reflective look back at Wells Fargo’s storied past. A fairly precise promise of how the bank can regain its customers’ confidence. And, of course, lots of horses.

The apology: “We built on that trust,” the narrator says. “Until, we lost it.” Bam. Is that so hard, people? You messed up. Say so.

The fix: There’s the usual language (“We’re holding ourselves accountable”) and a nod toward the perception that Wells Fargo has been chasing crisis after crisis (“find and fix issues proactively”). There’s also a specific and important fix — “ending product sales goals for branch bankers” — that addresses the biggest of the scandals. Solid.

The takeaway: The “Established 1852. Re-established 2018” finish may be overstating things a bit, but then again, Wells Fargo has had a really rough go of it for a while now. The company needed a reset. Customers do, too. And really, there’s nothing like a good apology to start things over.

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Uber to give drivers sick pay and parental leave

“We focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible,” said Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.
Julia Irvine 23 May 2018 05:21pm

Uber has bowed to the inevitable and announced that it will give its European drivers access to a range of benefits, including sick pay, parental leave and time off for jury duty

In a statement released today, the ride hailing app said that it had lost sight of the fact that its drivers were “at the heart of the Uber experience”.

“We focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible,” said Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi. “We called drivers ‘partners’, but didn’t always act like it. An important part of being a good partner is being a good listener.”

He said the group was responding to the demand for security and peace of mind by providing a range of free insurance coverage including sickness, injury and maternity and paternity payments for drivers and couriers throughout Europe.

The scheme will start on 1 June and will instantly cover 150,000 Uber “partners” in Europe, including 70,000 drivers and couriers in the UK.

He described the scheme as “an important step in addressing some of the biggest concerns raised by our independent partners who rely on Uber”.

“But the listening doesn’t stop here,” he added. “We’ll continue to ensure that the voices of the drivers and couriers are heard as we take Uber forward together.”

The move comes in the run-up to a major court hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on 25 June, when the app will appeal against the decision by Transport for London (TfL) not to renew its private hire operating licence in London.

TfL withdrew the licence in September last year over concerns about public safety and security. The licensing authority was unhappy with the level of cooperation with authorities regarding driver checks and alleged sex attacks on passengers. It was also concerned about the so-called “greyball” software designed to mislead authorities by preventing them from making checks on drivers.

However, Uber has been able to continue operating in the capital while awaiting the outcome of the appeal hearing.

It suffered another blow in the weeks following TfL’s decision. In November Uber failed to overturn an Employment Tribunal granting its drivers rights including holiday pay, sick pay and the national minimum wage. It is now appealing that decision to the Court of Appeal.

The GMB union, which represented a number of Uber drivers in the Employment Tribunal, hailed Uber’s decision over sick pay as a “well-deserved victory”.

GMB national officer Mick Rix said that Uber finally seemed to be listening to its drivers’ complaints about their treatment. “This is a major step in the right direction, but our successful court victories, winning workers’ rights for Uber drivers, could have all been avoided if they had sat down and talked with GMB from the start,” he argued.

The new insurance scheme does not provide the equivalent of employee sick pay though since, in order to be eligible, the driver must have completed at least 150 trips in the previous eight weeks, while an Uber Eats courier must have completed at least 30 deliveries over the same period of time.


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Uber is shutting down its self-driving operation in Arizona after a crash resulted in the death of a …

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has previously said that Uber will resume testing its self-driving cars “in a few months.” He said: “Are we doing the right …

Uber is closing down its self-driving car operations in Arizona, US and making 200 staff redundant as a result.

The ride-sharing company’s decision comes after a collision in March resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing and although Uber’s test drivers haven’t worked since the incident, the company says it has continued to pay them.

However, that is no longer the case as the staff were notified on Wednesday, May 23, that their employment was no longer required.

The Uber crash that killed a pedestrian in March

The company has said it plans to restart its self-driving testing in other areas of the US (San Francisco and Pittsburgh) once the federal authorities conclude their investigation.

“We’re committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future,” Uber said in a prepared statement acquired by azcentral.

“In the meantime, we remain focused on our top-to-bottom safety review, having brought on former NTSB Chair Christopher Hart to advise us on our overall safety culture,” the company said.

Pedestrian Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed. (Image: Facebook)

Footage of the incident shows the car operator looking down instead of at the road for a couple of seconds before pedestrian Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed.

The 49-year-old was walking her bicycle across the road in Tempe, near Phoenix, when she was hit by the Volvo XC90 SUV which was traveling around 40mph.

Police confirmed the vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (Image: Getty)

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has previously said that Uber will resume testing its self-driving cars “in a few months.”

He said: “Are we doing the right thing, are we pushing too hard, and is it coming at the cost of safety, and if it is then you have to take a step back.

“We will win because of the talent of the technical people we have in our offices.”

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TV Ad Spend Weekly: Uber CEO is ‘forward’ looking in new spot

Ride hailing app Uber debuted new ads on May 14 featuring the company’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, who discusses how he has …

Brands continue to invest heavily in above-the-line content, and television is still seen as the place brands want to be. Each week, in partnership with Kantar Media, The Drum looks at which brands have been investing the most on newly-launched creative on US national broadcast and cable TV.

Advertisers spent a total of $908m on national TV during the week of May 14, an increase of 8% compared to the previous week. Spend on new advertising also saw an uptick, reaching $136m, an increase of 14% over the prior week. The performance finals on American Idol brought home a big win for ABC this week. The show on earned $22.7m in advertising revenue, including $5.4m for new ads.

Kantar Media
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The Home Depot and Verizon made sure to get an early start on Memorial Day deals with their promotions, and Walt Disney Studios continued to lay out blockbuster after potential blockbuster—this time with the Star Wars story Solo. Apple was this weeks biggest spender: amidst flagging sales of its new flagship, the iPhone X, the brand continues to tout the features of its smartphones, including a portrait mode that’s forced rivals on Android to adopt a two-camera setup to achieve the same features.

A company that we don’t typically see spending big on TV landed itself in the top five this week. Ride hailing app Uber debuted new ads on May 14 featuring the company’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, who discusses how he has been listening to customers, cities, communities and Uber employees and states “moving forward, it’s time to move in a new direction.”

After a string of bad press, it seems the company is trying to revamp its image. Uber has spent $3.8m running these spots nationally, one third of its overall national TV spend so far in 2018.

See all of the new creative submitted from around the world in The Drum’s Creative Works section.

If you have creative work to submit, please upload it here.

This data is part of ongoing reporting released on a weekly basis with Kantar Media using its AdScope tool.

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AXA partners with Uber for driver protection

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi commented: “Uber wouldn’t be what it is without drivers and couriers – they are at the heart of the Uber experience.

French insurer AXA and car-hailing app Uber have partnered to offer benefits to all Uber’s independent partner drivers and couriers in Europe.

From June 1, Uber will provide a range of protections including accident, injury, illness, and paternity benefits for drivers and couriers when they are on and off the Uber app in European markets. Uber’s cover will be funded by Uber at no cost to all eligible drivers and courier partners.

Uber and AXA also signed a memorandum of understanding to build a joint affinity marketplace for independent workers. Through a digital platform, Uber and AXA expect to propose a full set of personalized offers tailored to the different profiles and needs of each partner driver or courier, notably including injury protection, income protection, family protection, health covers, retirement, savings.

“AXA’s aim is to provide everyone with optimum protection,” said CEO Thomas Buberl. “With the digital revolution, forms of work have been changing engendering new needs for protection. Our innovative partnership with Uber has proved that a world leader in insurance and one of the most emblematic companies in the new economy can successfully join forces to accompany these deep transformations,” Buberl added.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi commented: “Uber wouldn’t be what it is without drivers and couriers – they are at the heart of the Uber experience. We’re committed to being better a partner, and that starts by being a better listener. That’s why I’m thrilled to provide this groundbreaking protection alongside a trusted insurer like AXA, giving our drivers and couriers the peace of mind they tell us they want while preserving the flexibility they value,” Khosrowshahi added.

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