'Misleading' Deliveroo Advert Banned For Implying Different Restaurant Orders Could Be Delivered Together
It was the advert that haunted us on Sky Sports breaks. The woman walks through the front door, shouting: "DELIVEROO - Chinese, KFC, Wagamama, Greek salad - no carbs before Marbs, eh Karen?" Well, we won't be hearing it anymore because it's been banned.
It's all because the 30 second clip implies that food from multiple restaurants could be delivered in one go - which we all know ain't the case.
Watchdogs received 300 complaints about the advert, making it the third most complained about ad of 2019 so far.
The complaints were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and it was found to be in breach of rules regarding misleading advertising and qualifications.
The ad, screened throughout September and October, 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 before diving into the bag.
On-screen text stated: "Geographical restrictions apply. Separate orders must be made for each restaurant."
The voice-over at the end stated: "All your family favourites, now on Deliveroo." The logos of Burger King, Wagamama, Zizzi, KFC, Five Guys, Pho, Greggs, Yo!, Fridays, Tortilla, Wahaca, Papa John's, Pret and Taco Bell appeared across the screen.
A total of 300 people complained that the ad was 'misleading' as they understood that each restaurant would need a separate order, each incurring a delivery fee, with each meal then delivered separately.
Roofoods, Deliveroo's parent company, said the ad promoted the wide variety of meal types and restaurants which were available via the platform.
The firm claimed that as the action unfolded it became clear that the ad was not set in an ordinary household and that it was not showing an ordinary Deliveroo order.
Deliveroo pointed out that the 'magic bag' produced many more meals than could be contained in an ordinary bag and that the house was filled with a large number of people. They've never been round to my mum's when the darts is on, then.
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The firm said the magic bag motif 'drew on the classic pulling-a-rabbit-from-a-hat magic trick, which further underscored the whimsical and fantastical nature' of the scene.
Deliveroo offered to include additional on-screen text to clarify the nature of their service, but an ASA spokesperson said: "We recognised that the ad did not show a typical house or a typical delivery, and that viewers would appreciate the ad was not showing a real-world scenario.
"Deliveroo had however chosen that scenario in order to demonstrate one of the real-world benefits of their service, namely the wide variety of restaurants from which their customers could order.
"We considered that while viewers might appreciate that it was impractical for an order as large and diverse as the one shown in the ad to be delivered in a single delivery, the ad nevertheless implied that Deliveroo customers could order food from different restaurants to be delivered together."
They continued: "The ad made no reference to the cost of delivery and in the absence of any claim that delivery was free we considered viewers would assume that delivery charges were likely to apply.
"However, the ad featured a scenario in which food ordered from different restaurants was delivered to the same household at the same time. We considered consumers would not assume that a separate delivery charge applied for each restaurant ordered from.
"In that context, it was therefore material information that a separate delivery charge would be applied to each order from a different restaurant.
"While we acknowledged Deliveroo's willingness to include additional on-screen text to clarify the nature of their service, we considered such text was unlikely to be sufficient to alter the overall impression that their customers could order food from different restaurants to be delivered together.
"Because that was not the case, and because the ad did not state that a delivery charge would be applied to each order from a different restaurant, we concluded it was likely to mislead."
He added: "The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told Roofoods, if showing deliveries of food from multiple restaurants, to take care not to misleadingly imply that multiple meals could be delivered in a single order, and not to misleadingly omit material information about delivery charges."
The two most complained about ads of the year so far include a Go Compare ad in which opera singer Gio Compario was involved in a car accident.
A total of 336 people complained that the ad 'trivialised' car crashes and that it was offensive and distressing, but the ASA did not consider any rules were broken.
In October 317 people complained about a poster advertising Cheltenham Fireworks featuring a dog wearing ear defenders. But the advertiser withdrew the ad, so no further action was required.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS