September 13, 2019

Deliveroo's TV advert didn't deliver: Found likely to be misleading

Sushi in space? Pizza for prisoners? Burgers for burglars? The British food delivery company, Deliveroo appears to have you covered.

Deliveroo's TV advert shows a cyclist delivering food anywhere and everywhere, no matter the situation. During the deliveries a (somewhat soothing) voice-over says "order what you want; where you want; when you want it". Text at the bottom of the screen reminds viewers that "some restrictions apply, obviously."

However, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the advert to be misleading as it suggested Deliveroo could deliver anywhere in the UK. The disclaimer "some restrictions apply, obviously" was found to suggest only ludicrous deliveries (like to space) would be restricted. The 22 complaints received for the advert confirmed that maybe the disclaimer was not so 'obvious'. While expanding, Deliveroo is not yet available in all areas of the UK. The Deliveroo food app details the terms and conditions to where it can deliver, however, this was not enough to prevent the public from being misled as to Deliveroo's services. The UK ASA found that the advert cannot be shown again in its current form.

It is possible that such an advert could be considered misleading in New Zealand. In New Zealand, misleading advertisements are prohibited under the Fair Trading Act 1986 and the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority codes. While most people would consider the advert to be humorous and playful, it is a reminder that advertisers should be careful not to over simplify their message.


"We considered the very clearly fantastical nature of the settings - for example, in space and a car chase, was likely to lead viewers to interpret the qualification to mean that the restrictions applied to places where it would be ridiculous to expect to be able to access the service, rather than that there were certain areas of the country that were excluded" (Regulator)

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