One of Deliveroo's recent ads has incited outrage from viewers, managing to tot up more than 300 complaints since it aired.
Many potential customers were left outraged by the food delivery service's misleading advertising campaign which saw a woman diving into a bag brought to her door by one of the team’s drivers. She then proceeded to remove meals from a whole host of restaurants including KFC, Wagamama, Pizza Express, Burger King and Five Guys – announcing each brand as she distributed them amongst her family and friends. Whilst the small print did state that ‘geographical restrictions apply’ and ‘separate orders must be made for each restaurant’ – this was lost on many viewers who were under the impression that their order would be delivered all in one go, with just one delivery fee incurred.
Viewers misled that meals from multiple restaurants come in one delivery
The advert which aired throughout September and October 2019 amassed a grand total of 300 complaints, making it the third most complained-about advert of the year so far. It was only marginally beaten by a poster for the Cheltenham Fireworks show which featured a dog wearing ear defenders and angered animal-lovers for belittling the fear many dogs suffer from such displays. Leading with 336 complaints was a Go Compare advert which many viewers felt trivialised road accidents after the brand’s comical opera singer was involved in a car crash.
In response to the onslaught of criticism, Deliveroo has stressed that their ad was clearly not supposed to represent an ordinary household situation and that the ‘magic bag’ obviously held many more meals than could possibly be contained within an ordinary vessel. They felt that the woman’s ability to dive her entire body into the bag was enough to emphasise that the scenario portrayed was a fictional one, devised simply to highlight the diverse number of restaurants the app supports.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority has decided to ban the ad, concluding that the overall message was misleading and implied that groups wishing to eat from different outlets could receive all their meals in one single delivery.
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