Zomato has remained in the limelight for quite some time now, thanks to its marketing tweets, which went viral on social media. However, this time, the food delivery aggregator was caught up in a whirlwind of accusations over the portrayal of its delivery executives in the latest TV advertisement. The company responded to the negative feedback with a long statement, clearing the air and clarifying its intention behind the videos.
The ruckus started after Zomato posted a set of 2 advertisements featuring Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan. In one of the two clips, a delivery executive rings the doorbell of a house to deliver food. To his surprise, Katrina Kaif opens it and thanks him for being on time for her birthday cake. She asks him to wait for a piece of the cake but the delivery partner forgoes it as he receives another order delivery notification.
In another, the door is opened by Hrithik Roshan who asks him to wait for a selfie with him. The delivery partner gets overjoyed but his phone rings and informs him of a delivery that has to be made. He lets go of the opportunity and returns to his bike to deliver the order.
The ad closes with the delivery executive saying, “Katrina Kaif ho ya aap, apne liye har customer hai star”, translating to “Whether it is Katrina Kaif or you, for us, every customer is a star”.
However, the advertisements were met with severe backlash by social media users who slammed it for glorifying the busy schedule of delivery partners who do not get a minute for themselves. The gig workers unfair treatment was highlighted, as it has been in the recent times. Angry people tweeted saying that Zomato does not remunerate its delivery persons enough and should have rather given the money to them than the celebrities.
Zomato stepped up to address the queries and feedback, explaining that the ads were strategized 6 months back when there was not much “social media chatter around gig worker payouts/working conditions”.
The ads were directed at showcasing delivery partners as the hero and the right ways of speaking with them like Katrina and Hrithik did, “unlike how many people do”. They aimed to raise awareness and the level of dignity associated with the job of a delivery partner as they do not remain biased towards any customer as each is a star for them.
“We believe that our ads are well-intentioned, but were unfortunately misinterpreted by some people,” Zomato said. It tweeted the official clarification on Twitter with the caption, “The other side of the story”.
The other side of the story… pic.twitter.com/hNRj6TpK1X
— zomato (@zomato) August 30, 2021
It went on to say that the company is aware of the gig economy’s problems and those being faced by the gig workers. However, the statement read that Zomato has realized time and again whenever it went wrong and made efforts to correct them, though it knows that customers “expect more and better from” them.
“Our delivery partner Net Promoter Score has increased from -10% to 28% (and continues to rise). We will also, very soon, publish a blog post explaining why we think our delivery partners are fairly compensated for the work/time that they put in,” Zomato said. The company concluded by thanking its customers.