GRABCAR, a subsidiary of taxi-flagging app MyTeksi, today sent out notifications to all its users to alert them about its latest breast cancer awareness campaign. Dubbed #GrabItBeatIt, the campaign was first announced on the MyTeksi website on the 23rd of September.
Users of the taxi-booking mobile app has been under fire ever since introducing their GrabCar functionality, which has provoked the rage of taxi drivers around the nation as it offers a cheaper and more courteous alternative to local, Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD)-regulated car hire services.
This latest fiasco serves as another bullet to the service, as it has started trending on the net. Response towards the campaign has so far been overwhelmingly negative, with internet users lambasting MyTeksi and GrabCar for being “insensitive” and “sexist”.
A number of local artists have hopped onto the bandwagon and have voiced their displeasure with the campaign’s video and copywriting. On one side of the spectrum of disapproval, actor Redza Minhat and Rewan Ishak both called for the company to try a different approach.
Both Redza and Rewan were involved in last year’s Terbaik Dari Langit, a Festival Filem Malaysia-nominated film which went on to screen in the Asian Future category at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival.
On the other side of things, filmmaker and daughter of national treasure Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid (better known as Lat) stated that the campaign was “extremely disrespectful” towards not only women, but cancer patients as well.
Furthermore, netizens have been quick to point out that the campaign isn’t new, and strong similarities exist between MyTeksi’s #GrabItBeatIt and Keep A Breast Foundation‘s Loving Boobies! campaign.
Amidst the negativity, MyTeksi responded on Twitter. They claimed that the notification was sent out to capture public attention because breast cancer was an important matter.
Breast cancer is not a trivial issue and we regret that the taglines are not reflective of the seriousness of the issue.
MyTeksi has since removed their campaign video from their links, but have stated that they will proceed selling the T-shirts as all proceeds will go to charity.