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Uber expands retail media push into UK market

The news: Uber is expanding its retail media push into Europe by appointing Paul Wright, who most recently worked for Farfetch and Amazon, to lead Uber Advertising for the UK and Ireland.

  • This comes on the heels of Uber announcing it would be offering in-app advertising with Journey Ads designed to target users more likely to transact. The ridesharing leader is testing a program that uses in-car tablets to show ads and trip information; ads are also displayed within the Uber app as users book and during their trip.
  • To support the initiative, Uber announced a dedicated team of 100 employees in the US.
  • Over 40 companies (including NBCUniversal and Heineken) have already worked with Uber to deploy Journey Ads, with early campaigns improving brand lift up to six times against benchmarks.

Why expand? We actually covered Uber’s advertising expansion in Mexico before official word broke about its global retail media plans.

  • Uber's primary pitch to advertisers is ultimately based on the utilization of first-party data and insights across its ride-hailing and delivery applications, providing access to the company's audience of 122 million monthly active users with closed-loop attribution.

Our take: At this point in time, it’s almost irresponsible for a platform like Uber to forgo at least considering a retail media offering.

While it’s not free money, it does monetize the time and attention of an existing user base while simultaneously collecting more first-party data—a virtuous cycle that makes the platform more and more valuable to future advertisers.