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Black taxi advertising turns green: Ubiquitous finds solution to offer eco friendly campaigns

The advertising placed on the bodies of black taxis working in the capital now has its own green credentials thanks to one marketing company in the industry.

Ubiquitous who are one of the leading players in the taxi advertising market have developed a three point plan to ensure that their advertising strategies are green for both the trade and their clients going forwards.

Their first step is a simple and somewhat expected one; recruit as many cabbies that own a zero-emission capable taxi to place their adverts on.

A spokesperson from Ubiquitous said via their website: “Since the arrival of the hybrid LEVC TXe black taxi in London, we have seen a number of brands choose taxi advertising because the channel now offers a ‘green’ solution, and for many brands this is either already extremely important, or is growing more so.

“The advent of the TXe cab represented a watershed moment for Londoners; black taxis account for 20% of the NOx emissions in London – there is no doubt that having more TXes on the road (and fewer diesel cabs) will improve the quality of the air we breathe.

“Historically our campaigns have been on diesel taxis, but this has rapidly changed - hundreds of TXe drivers have already joined our media fleet. Ubiquitous sees this vehicle as the future of taxi advertising and we’re significantly invested in maintaining and building on the number of electric cabs that are available for brands.”

The second step focuses on the rest of the London taxi fleet currently driving around in diesel taxis. There are currently around 3,400 zero-emission capable taxis on London’s roads which make up the 18,000 vehicles in the capital.

As a result, Ubiquitous decided they needed to address the issue of diesel emissions from the classic TX taxis in its fleet and created an offsetting programme.

For as little as £1,000 brands can off-set the diesel emissions from a 4-week, 400-taxi advertising campaign.

So that’s the vehicles themselves turned green. What about the advertising wrapped on to the taxi?

Last winter Ubiquitous started and continue to test biodegradable vinyl, to assess its suitability for the exterior of hard-working, rain-or-shine, black cabs. However, the type of vinyl currently used during taxi campaigns goes into a landfill and can take centuries to degrade.

So, while Ubiquitous wait for a suitable biodegradable option to become available, the firm have found a unique alternative solution to bypass the landfill option.

Ubiquitous explained: “After conversations with the local authority that collects waste for Ubiquitous, they discovered that the council simply contracts-out the waste management to a third party, but under that agreement, just a limited number of waste solutions are available – only landfill for vinyl.

“So, our Ops Team took it up a notch and spoke directly to Veolia (the contracted provider) and guess what? They do offer a better solution for vinyl disposal: ‘waste-to-energy’ incineration. So, we quickly struck a direct deal with Veolia and committed to this greener strategy.”

Waste-to-energy incineration involves a high temperature burn of vinyl products that results in a zero-emission, zero-landfill output.

The energy is then cycled into power for the local community and the waste ash left is recycled as road surface aggregate.

Ubiquitous finally added: “We’re proud to have achieved our goal, and in doing so, to have created a new ’out of home’ (OOH) opportunity: Iconic black taxi advertising - now available in green.”

Image credit: Mark Twyman


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