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Zomato’s latest ads thanking delivery personnel hiding real truth of work conditions, say netizens

The ads featuring Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan show delivery executives braving the rain to drop a parcel at their doorstep. The ads have not gone down well with consumers, who asked the delivery app to focus on the welfare of the delivery executives

Food delivery app Zomato’s latest ad films eulogising its delivery personnel is facing a lot of flak on social media.

The films featuring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are an attempt by Zomato to thank their delivery personnel who are at service no matter what the situation is, and send out the message, ‘Har Customer Hai Star’.

Netizens have called out the brand over the ‘poor work conditions’ of the staff, which they say is in sharp contrast to what the ads show.

In the first film, Roshan addresses the delivery personnel as ‘Jaadoo’, the character in his film ‘Koi Mil Gaya’. As Roshan says, ‘Kisi bhi mausam mein time pe pohochte ho, Jaadoo se kam ho kya?’ and asks for a selfie, the delivery executive leaves because duty comes first.

The film:

In the second film, Kaif is thanking the delivering personnel for delivering the pizza on time, and complimenting him for being the first to show up at her birthday party. She expresses her desire to share her birthday cake but the person leaves since duty calls again.

The film:

The campaign is conceptualised by McCann Worldgroup India.

As soon as it was released, the ads sparked outrage online as netizens pointed out that the food delivery app seemed to be masking the real issues with this ode to its delivery agents.

In the past, Zomato has been publicly called out by executives (anonymous) for not compensating them properly and forcing them to over-work.

This issue highlights the loopholes of India’s gig economy workers (who are not employees of the company but are paid per task rather than a fixed salary with benefits, and are labelled as independent contractors) and how this culture is booming among the delivery apps.

Even when Zomato was celebrating its IPO, experts asked the company to first recognise its delivery executives as ‘employees’. They asked the company to give all associated benefits, right from mandatory savings to insurance, to all the delivery partners.

Amid all these allegations and criticism, the new ad films starring celebrities seemed to be tone deaf to many, who took the company to task on social media.

the posts:

Some, however, came out in defence of Zomato too, saying the delivery executives were fairly paid.

A few weeks ago, Zomato had released another video featuring comedian Danish Sait on similar lines. In the film, Sait is seen as a delivery agent, riding around Bengaluru to deliver food. It too drew flak from netizens for not depicting the realities of a delivery professional. After the backlash, the comedian took down the video and apologised.

The video ‘Zomato Delivery Partner for a day! Feat. Danish Sait’:

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