Mercury Defend ‘Attacker’ Ad

Taxi company defends “victim blaming” ad showing woman about to be attacked…

Mercury Taxis have defended a controversial advert that was criticised by the SU – and called on them to “take a good look at themselves”.

The ‘Get Home Safe’ ad depicts a woman leaving Leadmill on her own before being pursued by a hooded man who is about to attack her. But when she calls a taxi, she arrives home safely.

In a statement released on the SU website, WomCom had condemned the video as ‘distasteful’ and of playing into “an existing culture of ‘victim blaming”’.

The statement said: “The onus is always on women to protect themselves from violence and attack, and this wrongly displaces the responsibility for violence onto the victim and away from the perpetrator.”

This view was endorsed by Women’s Officer Kat Chapman and Education Officer Sam Rae.

Peter Holmes, Business Development Manager of Mercury, defended the video. He told The Tab: “When we first published the video, we were alerted and we took it on board.

“Our sole intention is to make people aware of the issues that can arise. Men and Women should book taxis when they leave a club.

“If you jump in any old cab, you are not insured. If you rang us now and booked a taxi, we would have a recording of your call, the driver’s details and information on exactly where the taxi has driven.

“We thought the Students’ Union was quite hypocritical: If you look on the SU website, under Safety & Security, they tell students’ to not walk alone in specific parts of Sheffield.

“They need to take a good look at themselves.”

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