The adverts, plugging PP mayoral candidate Esperanza Aguirre and regional presidential candidate Cristina Cifuentes, were fixed to taxis in Madrid at a cost of €50 per taxi, making a total of €45,000 spent on one, 15 day publicity campaign.
A partir de hoy será mas fácil elegir Taxi. 900Taxis de Madrid llevarán publicidad del PP durante 15 dias por 50€ pic.twitter.com/JDXhdYvwoA
— Creative Katarsis (@CKatarsis) May 9, 2015
Now, many taxi drivers are regretting the decision that saw the Radioteléfono Taxi cooperative team up with the PP.
“It’s everything from people stopping and laughing and taking pictures of the posters to people refusing to ride in taxis supported by the PP,” a taxi driver, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
“Some colleagues have suffered graffiti and vandalism,” he added.
The president of Madrid’s taxi federation, Julio Sanz, has further criticized the move, describing the campaign as “an unfortunate gesture that has left us in a bad place that will cost far more than the €50 earned by our colleagues”.
“We do not believe that taxis are the place to be broadcasting political messages,” he added.
Other taxi drivers have complained that politicians are only making use of them in the run up to an important election after having ignored their needs and requests for years.
Esperanza Aguirre and Cristina Cifuentes are so far the only candidates who have chosen to promote themselves on taxis and judging by the frosty reception they have received, other aspiring politicians might think again before opting for a similar publicity campaign.