Funny or Die skewers Uber in a brilliant fake PR video
Anyone who reads Pando -- or reads anything -- knows Uber has been a lightning rod for controversy during its quick ascent to the multi-billion dollar club. Travis Kalanick's company has run a staggering gamut of bad behavior, from questionable background check procedures and rape allegations brought against drivers, to alleged irresponsible use of its data-tracking functionality and threatening to smear unfriendly journalists.
So Funny or Die -- whose leadership team will coincidentally join our Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lacy for a PandoMonthly event on April 8 in San Francisco -- has made a brutal video skewering Uber's devil-may-care attitude toward these controversies. Some of the new programs this faithful yet fake version of Uber has launched in response to what it innocently calls "hiccups" include a "Stab-a-Lyft-driver" program (Just send in the punk mustache with the driver's blood on it!), an initiative to hire more rapists ("By hiring only rapists, we eliminate all the guess work!"), and a September 11 promotion modeled after the movie The Purge called "The Surge," in which Uber will mandate 10x surge pricing for 12 hours straight -- oh and also all crime is legal in Uber cars during this period.
But the final shot is the most ruthless, showing a VP of Public Relations digging through the trash of a journalist looking for dirt to launch a smear campaign. (Sound familiar?) When the journalist catches him, the VP pulls out a gun and shoots at the journalist. It would be funny if it weren't all so close to reality.