Uber row

Uber takes on taxi drivers with free ice cream

Uber takes on taxi drivers with free ice cream
Young woman eating icecream: Shutterstock
The people behind the mobile taxi app Uber have gone on a charm offensive, offering free ice creams on Friday afternoon to users in Barcelona, a city where use of the controversial app is currently banned.

From 1pm to 7pm, Uber will be delivering free ice creams to its users in Barcelona, along with a "small gift", the company said in a statement.

The campaign #UberIceCream is being run in 144 cities around but Barcelona is the only Spanish city featured.

The initiative is the latest bid by the company to spruce up its image in the Catalan capital.

The Spanish region of Catalonia recently announced it would fine drivers using the popular app up to €6,000 ($8,000).

Taxi drivers argue the app threatens their livelihood, and have responded with a series of strikes.

Spain's national government in Madrid originally touted fines for Uber users but backed down after the European Union said planned penalties were too harsh.

Uber was seeking open dialogue with Spanish authorities, the company told The Local recently.

"We comply with all applicable tax laws in each of the markets we operate in," the company told The Local recently, adding that they believed there was room of everyone in the transport market.

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