Deliveroo’s “playful” attempt to show how it can deliver food the length and breadth of the country – and even in space – has been slapped down after scores of people complained to the ad watchdog that the firm could not even cover their area, let alone astronauts.
A TV ad, devised by Wieden & Kennedy, showed various scenes of people eating food, using the Deliveroo app, with a voiceover stating: “Order what you want; where you want; when you want it.”
One person was shown receiving a delivery in a field after apparently tunnelling under-ground to escape from prison, and an astronaut was seen receiving a delivery in space. On-screen text on the ad read: “Some restrictions apply, obviously…”
However, 22 complainants who understood that Deliveroo did not deliver to their areas challenged the Advertising Standards Authority to investigate whether the ad was misleading.
In its defence, Deliveroo said it did not believe the situations shown in the ad came across as representative of real life but were intended to show that it was possible to order from Deliveroo in different everyday locations such as at work or at a friend’s house.
Deliveroo did acknowledged that there were locations which it did not currently cover but believed the text “Some restrictions apply, obviously” made this clear.
But the ASA was not impressed. In its ruling, the watchdog said consumers were likely to expect that Deliveroo’s service applied throughout the UK without exception “given the absolute nature of the claim”.
Banning the ad from appearing again in its current form, ASA added: “Given the expectation set up by the ad, we considered it was not sufficient to make consumers aware they would need to check for availability in their area.
“Because we considered the ad suggested delivery was unrestricted throughout the UK when that was not the case, we concluded that it was likely to mislead.”
In response, a Deliveroo spokesman said: “Deliveroo designed a playful ad to show that, through our service, people are able to order food to a wide range of places, whether home or work, for a range of occasions.
“We know some will be disappointed that their local area isn’t currently served by Deliveroo, but we are expanding rapidly across the UK and will be coming to their town or city soon.”
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