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Uber and Lyft spend a lot of money on Facebook advertising for Yes on 22 in California


A driver and passenger wear face masks while Uber and Lyft drivers ride with Rideshare Drivers United and the Transport Workers Union of America on Jan.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

Just over a week before the 2020 elections, Uber and Lyft are sparing no expense to convince Facebook users in California to support them in the elections.

Yes, Prop 22, a group that gig economy companies in their home state wants them to continue to classify drivers as contractors, spent $ 3.7 million on Facebook ads in California last month in California, more than any other campaign, including for the president in the state over this route. If successful, the proposal would exempt ridesharing and delivery companies from a new law in California that forces companies to reclassify gig employees as employees and offer them benefits such as paid sick leave and unemployment protection.

According to Facebook’s advertising library, Proposition 22 supporters outperform all political efforts nationwide, with the exception of Trump and Biden’s presidential campaigns, major party organizations, and a PAC called Stop Republicans. More than half of the total Facebook spend of Yes on Prop 22 was made in the last 30 days.

Uber and Lyft were by far the biggest supporters of Proposition 22, contributing the majority of the nearly $ 190 million raised to pass the measure. Postmates, which is taking over Uber, has been a big funder along with Instacart and Doordash.

The Facebook ads are mostly 15-30 second videos claiming that drivers prefer contractors for flexibility.

One of the group’s most expensive ads ran in the first two weeks of October, costing between $ 400,000 and $ 450,000 and aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Geoff Vetter, spokesman for the Yes on 22 campaign, said in an email that nearly a million drivers must adopt the measure “to save and improve their jobs” while millions of California residents “are app-based Services are dependent “.

“We are determined to win Prop. 22 and will continue to communicate with the voters until all votes are cast,” wrote Vetter.

Uber and Lyft are also pushing the move on their own apps. Users who launch the Uber app to order a ride in California will likely see a “Drivers Keep Earning” message followed by a link to information promoting Proposition 22. Lyft says in its app that “Prop 22 is a win-win situation.”

Screenshot from the Uber app


The opposition campaign is supported by workers’ groups and spends much less. No on Prop 22 spent $ 127,520 on Facebook advertising last month, and a little over $ 350,000 in total. That’s less than the backers spend on individual ads.

Led by the California Labor Federation and AFL-CIO, No on 22 raised an eighth of the money as the opposite side. It is said that the proposal was “written by app companies for app companies.” In a Facebook ad posted this month, opponents say Uber, Lyft and DoorDash “wrote a fraudulent Prop 22 denying drivers their rights.”

“You hired expensive lawyers and paid political activists to collect enough signatures to ask California voters just one question: will you allow app companies to buy a special exemption from the law to exploit workers for profit?”

A poll published last month by the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at UC Berkeley found that 39% of likely voters support Proposition 22, while 36% oppose it and 25% remain undecided.

WATCH: California AG Xavier Becerra on the battle for Gigworker and Prop 22


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