Taxi firm video under fire from students

'Ruby' rings for a cab in Mercury Taxis' controversial advert.
'Ruby' rings for a cab in Mercury Taxis' controversial advert.
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A Sheffield taxi company has defended a controversial advert which depicts a lone woman being followed by a hooded man about to attack her.

The Get Home Safe video, filmed by Mercury Taxis, has been criticised by women students at Sheffield University.

It shows female student ‘Ruby’ in two scenarios leaving a club after a night out - one in which she is followed by the man, and another where she is taken home safely by minicab.

The University of Sheffield’s Women’s Committee described the video as ‘distasteful’ and of playing into a culture of ‘victim blaming’.

Their statement said: “We find this video to be extremely problematic. The use of an implicit threat of violence against women in order to promote their company and its services is distasteful to say the least.

“It plays into an existing culture of ‘victim blaming’. The onus is always on women to ‘protect themselves from violence and attack’.”

But Peter Holmes for Mercury Taxis said: “Our sole intention is to make people aware of issues that can arise.

“We thought the students’ union was quite hypocritical - if you look on their website they tell students to not walk alone in specific parts of Sheffield. They need to take a good look at themselves.”