Uber Eats drivers can, and should, sell advertising on top-boxes

On Tuesday Uber Eats announced a new initiative where delivery people can have the top box of their bikes covered in advertising.

The initiative was launched together with MotionAds and Uber Eats says that the income from ad placements is expected to increase a driver’s net earnings by 10 percent.

“From an advertising perspective, delivery people offer brands an impactful new advertising channel. They have unique access to the kitchen table and given the time bikes spend on the road, brands benefit from the significant exposure they generate. Our research shows us one bike gets an average of 300,000 ‘eyeballs’ (impressions) per month,” wrote Elan Band, co-founder of MotionAds.

Now, we don’t want to discount the work that MotionAds does, but given that the driver’s vehicle is the advertising space, an increase of 10 percent on net earnings feels low.

Calculating impressions for out-of-home advertising is a notoriously complex undertaking and MotionAds is surely providing value here, but it’s also going to be taking a cut. However, we quizzed Uber Eats about this initiative and drivers may not have to use MotionAds or any advertising firm for that matter.

When we asked Uber Eats whether drivers could approach other advertisers, head of operations for Sub-Saharan Africa at Uber Eats, Charles Mhango said, “Delivery people are independent contractors and there is nothing prohibiting them from doing so.”

Uber Eats says it is simply making an introduction here and it takes no percentage of the advertising placed by MotionAds.

“Uber does not take any portion of the earnings that the delivery people make from the advertising, given its their own business assets. The earnings they receive are calculated based on various factors as per the contractual agreement, and the duration and type of campaign,” said Mhango.

Essentially then, drivers could cut out the middle-man and approach businesses themselves. Given delivery drivers often work in one area, approach SMEs in that area and offering them competitive rates could help drivers’ earnings immensely.

Could this mean we’ll start seeing Uber cars caked in advertising?

We’re not sure and we wouldn’t advise it. Uber’s community guidelines state that driver’s vehicles must be maintained and in good operating condition but there is nothing about advertising. Or at least nothing that we can see. With that having been said, if you are an Uber driver we’d err on the side of caution and ask the firm before selling advertising space on your car.

For Uber Eats delivery drivers on bikes though, you heard the company. Sell that top-box as advertising space and get more bread while delivering bread.


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