Careem—the most famous ride-hailing service has recently started its efforts for creating voter awareness and facilitation to voters in reaching their respective polling station with creative promo codes, however, the attempt kind of backfired.
As part of the campaign captioned as “CareemforDemocracy, the service launched a number of promo codes having political taglines with a special reference towards the affected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, a move which encouraged the company to tender an apology.
Days before the Avenfield Reference decision, Careem introduced a series of promos with the most prominent one “AFTERNUNN”, in reference to the most famous catchphrase of the ex-prime minister—Nawaz Sharif— “Mujhe Kyun Nikala”.
Alongside, it also launched other promos “DHARNA”, “JAANNISAR” and “CAPTAIN” in an attempt to taunt the loyal personnel of PML-N.
The promotion campaign by Careem soon met with anger by a huge number of people vowing to #BoycottCareemPakistan for its lack of neutrality in politics and favouritism towards Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
People, especially the ones favouring PML-N spoke up against the promo codes which were targeted at making fun of their party.
The social media criticism stirred concerns among the marketers of the service, who found it much better to apologise and support democracy in the nation.
We sincerely apologise for hurting your sentiments. Careem is politically neutral and our election taglines covered all popular political slogans. Our singular aim is to get everyone to the polling stations. #CareemForDemocracy pic.twitter.com/VoDMhbLM8q
— Careem Pakistan (@CareemPAK) July 9, 2018
Careem in its Twitter post wrote that they sincerely apologise for hurting the feelings and that Careem is politically neutral and that the election taglines were just meant for covering the famous slogans.
The clarification was put forward after facing a Twitter storm for its choice of marketing strategy at a time when the country is so caught up in the election season.
A large number of Careem users were witnessed deleting the app and shaming the service for their irresponsible display of behaviour.
— Shaheer Jamal Hazarwi (میں بھی نواز ہوں) (@Hafizshaheer_j) July 9, 2018
Your Pakistan branch is involved in political activities against Ex PM Nawaz Sharif and in favor of Imran Khan. Don't let them politicize your name. They were also reported a couple of days ago for political affiliation and activities.#BycottCareemPakistan
— غدّار ملنگ (@MalangZM) July 8, 2018
— ®️🇵🇰گوجرانوالہ دا سویلین (@MSajidShad) July 9, 2018
— Majid Chaudhry (@c4chaudhry) July 9, 2018
— پاشا سرکار (@PashaSarkaar) July 9, 2018
Let its #BycottCareemPakistan who the hell they are to dis respect some one ideology
— Muhammad Rafi (@rafidone) July 9, 2018
— Adeel Abdullah (@adeelabdullah62) July 9, 2018
— Rehan Chaudhary (@ch_rehaan) July 9, 2018
— wasi104 (@SATTARWASIF) July 9, 2018
— Jamil Malik (@jamil_awan1) July 9, 2018