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Deliveroo advert banned for misleading customers

By Laura Parnaby

A television advert for food service Deliveroo has been banned for misleading customers after it became one of the most complained-about commercials of the year.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled the company was wrong to suggest deliveries could be made from multiple restaurants in a single package without incurring extra charges.

The advert, which first aired in September 2019, showed a woman receiving an order, before diving into a single bag and distributing meals from various restaurants.

As the woman called out the names of several food outlets, on-screen text stated “geographical restrictions apply” and “separate orders must be made for each restaurant”.

The advert was the third-most complained about of the year so far, receiving 300 objections.

Another advert by the delivery service, which aired in March, was also banned two months ago.

In its ruling, the ASA said: “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.”

Deliveroo, who removed the advert following the ruling, said it did not make pricing claims and only 0.0006% of those who viewed it complained.

A spokesman from the company said: “For the record, you can’t actually dive into your Deliveroo bag, however hungry you are.

“The advert is clearly fantastical in nature, including a woman diving into a Deliveroo bag.”

A spokesman from the ASA said it is “unusual” to receive such a high volume of complaints about an advert being misleading, as most are made over offence.

The most-complained about advert of 2019 so far is by GoCompare, which shows a male opera singer being hit by a car.

Some 336 people said it trivialised car crashes, but ASA did not consider the rules to be broken.

An advert by Cheltenham Fireworks showing a dog wearing ear defenders is the second most complained about advert of the year so far, receiving 317 objections.

Viewers said the advert made light of the distress fireworks cause to some animals, prompting the company to withdraw it.

The ruling from ASA comes only two months after the delivery service was forced to pull another advert for misleadingly implying the company could deliver to anywhere in the UK.