Uber Re-Enters Barcelona With Professional Driver Service

Uber Re-Enters Barcelona With Professional Driver Service

Uber is seeking a second chance in Barcelona three years after it was forced to shut down in the face of taxi driver protests – by introducing a fully licenced ride-hailing service that meets local transportation laws.

Its new UberX service will operate with hundreds of professional, licenced drivers in contrast to the UberPopservice it ran until late 2014 using non-professional drivers to pick up and drop off passengers, Uber said on Tuesday.

Uber is looking to make a clean break with business practices that resulted in a litany of regulatory battles, driver and consumer scandals and court cases.

“We made mistakes along the way,” Uber General Manager for Southwest Europe Carles Lloret said in a company blog post.

“We are changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make and working hard to earn the trust of the cities in which we operate. Barcelona is no exception.”

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in January he was focused on “responsible growth” as he seeks to put an end to the take-no-prisoners culture he inherited upon joining the pioneer of ride-hailing services last year.

Two years ago, Uber re-introduced UberX using professional drivers in Madrid. In December 2014, a judge had ordered all Uber services to be shut down in Spain’s capital city.

Decrying Uber’s return as unfair competition to their livelihoods, taxi drivers have mounted a series of 24-hour strikes in Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish cities over the past year.

“We are fully committed to working with the entire sector – including taxis – to improve mobility in Barcelona together,” said Lloret.

San Francisco-based Uber pre-emptively closed its services in Barcelona in December 2014 as local officials geared up to pass legislation against the UberPop service, which city authorities legally barred the following year.

Protests by taxi associations over the past year against Uber have also targeted Madrid-based Cabify, a rival founded in 2012 that operates in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Uber operates a range of ride-hailing services in more than 600 cities around the world.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

AkzoNobel names creative partner for professional paints business

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AkzoNobel has appointed MullenLowe Group as the new creative agency partner for its paints global marketing organisation.  Effective immediately, the new partnership aims to deliver on the growth objectives and business opportunities of AkzoNobel’s professional paints activities.

It follows last year’s appointment of MullenLowe Group as the global creative partner for AkzoNobel consumer paints.

“AkzoNobel has been providing painters with the highest quality paints for more than 200 years,” said David Menko, CMO of the company’s paints business.

“We have a clear requirement for a strong creative partner in order to leverage our global presence and further build our professional brands. We feel MullenLowe Group is the right partner to deliver against our growth ambition for these brands as we continue to lead the way globally via our innovation, disruptive communication, and our passion to make people’s lives more liveable and inspiring with our products, services and tools,” Menko said.

Nuno Pena, global marketing director for AkzoNobel’s professional and pre-deco activities, added: “We are thrilled with the appointment of MullenLowe Group as our global agency partner for the paints business. The agency is a great partner for our consumer colleagues and we have already achieved some outstanding results on those brands. I am looking forward to their team bringing to bear their experience with our organisation, and their creativity to drive business success for our professional brands – such as Sikkens and Dulux Trade – and for audiences around the world.”

Jose Miguel Sokoloff, global president of the MullenLowe group creative council, said: “We are very proud of our relationship with AkzoNobel and the work that we have produced for the consumer paints organization. We’re excited to put the power of our challenger thinking and creativity to drive an unfair share of attention for the professional side of the business.”

[“Source-marketing-interactive”]

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