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Uber is gluing promotional posters on Seattle utility boxes to drum up support for its company. This one is at E Madison St. and 17th Ave E in Capitol Hill.

Uber is trying to convince Seattle’s city leaders that its app-based UberX transportation service should be allowed to operate freely, but the company’s most recent marketing tactics may not exactly help that cause.

We spotted several Uber promotional posters stuck to city utility boxes and dumpsters near downtown Seattle Thursday. Based on city regulations, city officials told us that the posters are actually “illegal” because they are glued to structures that are either city-owned or under permit.

Uber used glue to stick their posters on utility boxes, which is illegal according to Seattle's postering regulations.
Uber used glue to stick their posters on utility boxes, which is illegal according to Seattle’s postering regulations.

On top of that, the posters also broke a few more rules: they were attached using glue, they exceed the maximum size allowed, and finally, they do not include a posting date.

“We will contact Uber to address the issue,” a city spokesman told us.

We’ve reached out to Uber for comment on the posters, but have not heard back.

Uber has revved up its marketing engine these past few days in Seattle as the city implements regulations on the company. On Thursday evening, the City Council voted 5-4 to cap the number of Lyft, UberX or Sidecar drivers active at any given time on each system to 150. That means UberX would be allowed 150 drivers at one time during the day or night — same goes for Sidecar and Lyft. The legislation, which still needs official approval next month, left representatives from both Uber and the taxi industry disappointed.

Uber, which has collected more than 10,000 signatures for a petition to stop the City Council from implementing caps, has also been robo-calling people with an automated message that allows people to leave voice messages with councilmembers.

“We need your help,” the recorded message said. “The Seattle City Council … is imposing devastating caps on the number of drivers we can partner with.”

On top of all that, Uber is also driving around giant billboards with the same messaging:


These marketing stunts are all in addition to celebrity support Uber has received over the past week from people like rapper Macklemore, Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate and musician Allen Stone.

See all of our coverage on the ride-sharing issue here.

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