'Misleading' Deliveroo ad banned after attracting 300 complaints

Deliveroo argued the advert was clearly not depicting a real life scenario as the mother disappeared into a 'magic bag'  - ASA

A Deliveroo advert, which suggested customers can get deliveries from different restaurants at once, is the most complained about ad that has been banned this year, a watchdog has said.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 300 complaints about the TV ad, which shows a mother handing out takeaways to family members from different outlets before disappearing 'magically' into the bag to fetch the last order.

Viewers complained it was misleading, pointing out that Deliveroo customers had to make separate orders - with separate delivery fees - if they wanted food from different restaurants.

Deliveroo argued it was clear that the ad was not depicting an “ordinary household” or an “ordinary Deliveroo order”.

The company said this was illustrated by the “magic bag” the mother disappeared into, which “drew on the classic pulling-a-rabbit-from-a-hat magic trick.”

However, the ASA said that the domestic setting of the ad and the reference to ‘All your family favourites, now on Deliveroo’ “strongly implied” people would be able to order together from different services. 

The ASA ruled that the ad was misleading as it did not tell viewers they needed to get separate deliveries for different restaurants Credit: ASA

As the company did not state that delivery charges would apply to each order, it banned the ad for being misleading. 

A spokesman for Deliveroo said: “This advert underlined the huge choice of great restaurants available on Deliveroo. This is growing each day. For the record, you can’t actually dive into your Deliveroo bag, however hungry you are.”

Following the ruling, the ASA said only two other ad had garnered more complaints this year, but neither had been banned.

These were a Go Compare ad that showed a car crash and attracted 336 complaints but was not upheld by the ASA, and one advertising Cheltenham Fireworks showing a dog wearing ear defenders, which attracted 317 complaints but was later withdrawn.