Zomato's ads, starring Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, have been called out for being tone-deaf and belittling the concerns of delivery partners.
NEW DELHI: After its star-studded campaign on honouring delivery executives received backlash across social media platforms, food delivery platform Zomato has issued a statement saying the campaign was “well-intentioned".
At a time when the recently listed company is being questioned for unrealistic work hours and paltry wages of its delivery executives, the ‘Har customer hai star’ campaign, made by advertising agency McCann India, shows Zomato staff delivering orders at homes of top Bollywood actors and refusing selfies as they are pressed for time in between deliveries.
The Gurugram-based company’s ads, starring Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, have been called out for being tone-deaf and belittling the concerns of delivery partners.
Many delivery partners of Zomato and rival Swiggy have been taking to social media to protest insufficient compensation that cannot hedge against rising petrol prices, no long-distance return bonus, and daily limits on earnings.
In a statement, Zomato said the ads were conceptualised six months ago, long before any social media conversation around gig worker salaries and working hours started. The company asserted that they highlight delivery partners as heroes, that one should talk respectfully to them and raise the level of dignity associated with them.
"We believe that our ads are well-intentioned, but were unfortunately misinterpreted by some people," Zomato said in a statement.
"Having said that, we have been intently listening to all the chatter about gig workers and all the problems associated with this part of the economy. As a company, we have always acknowledged whenever we've come short, and we understand that you expect more and better from us," the company added.