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Summary:

An upstart car service is offering Manhattan residents free rides in gangster-era automobiles in a novel promotional gambit for the TV show Boardwalk Empire.

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Private car service Uber is offering New York City users a free ride in a Bentley, Caddie or Rolls Royce today as part of a promotion for HBO gangster show “Boardwalk Empire.”

According to an email from Uber, users can simply tap on an HBO icon in its app to summon a vintage 1920′s ride and take a free trip anywhere in Manhattan.

It’s the latest interesting marketing move from Uber and a clever way for HBO to hype the season premier of its Emmy-winning Atlantic City gangster drama. But there are more than a few catches: the free offer is only available in Manhattan today and tomorrow between 11am-6pm (this would be way cooler if it was at night) and the supply of rides is very limited.

As for Uber, the free rides might soon be the only kind it can offer it doesn’t win its squabble with the powerful New York City taxi lobby which wants to shut it down. The upstart car service, which lets users quickly summon a cab with a pre-approved credit card, is in similar regulatory fights in Boston and Washington, DC.

Here’s a screenshot of the gangster promotion:

  1. Uber has a flourishing Black Car service here in NYC as we do in all of our cities. We have been operating in NYC for about 16 months. Your article suggests that Vintage rides and TAXI are our only product offerings, and that is not the case.

    Josh Mohrer, NYC General Manager

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    1. “Your free advertising isn’t good enough.”

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  2. Another week, another pointless fluff piece about Uber. Sigh.

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