A Deliveroo TV advert suggesting food from multiple restaurants could be delivered in one order has been banned and become the third most complained-about advert of the year so far.
The advert, seen in September and October 2019, showed a woman taking a delivery from a Deliveroo driver at her front door and then distributing meals from various restaurants around the house from a single bag. She called out the name of each restaurant or type of food as she handed over the meals: "Chinese, KFC, Wagamama, Greek salad, Pizza Express, Burger King, Five Guys, Doner, Buon Giorno Italiano, prawn crackers". On-screen text stated ‘Geographical restrictions apply. Separate orders must be made for each restaurant’.
The complainants, who understood each restaurant would need a separate order, each incurring a delivery fee, with each meal then delivered separately, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Having garnered 300 complaints, it has only been pipped to the post by a poster for Cheltenham Fireworks that featured a picture of a dog wearing ear defenders which prompted 317 complaints that it made light of the distress caused to some animals by fireworks. A Go Compare advert which featured the brand’s recognisable male opera singer involved in a car accident has had the most complaints (336) for trivialising car crashes.
Deliveroo said it was clear that the ad was not set in an ordinary household and that it was not showing an ordinary Deliveroo order. It highlighted that the ‘magic bag’ produced many more meals than could be contained in an ordinary bag and that the house was filled with a huge number of inhabitants. They felt that was reinforced when the woman was able to dive into the bag.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) considered the ad strongly implied that families or other groups who intended to eat together but did not all want to eat the same thing would benefit from a service where food from different restaurants could be delivered together and made no reference to the cost of delivery. The ASA therefore banned the ad in its current form.