Zomato, the food delivery app, is facing criticism for its new commercials featuring actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif. The ads, which are a part of the company’s ‘Har customer hai star’ campaign, show Zomato delivery partners delivering orders at the homes of actors.
In the case of Roshan’s ad, the actor receives his food and asks the delivery partner to stay for a selfie. However, the rider leaves since they want to deliver their next order. Similarly in Kaif’s case, the actor asks the delivery partner to wait and have a piece of her birthday cake, but he too leaves to deliver his next order. According to Mint, more ads on the same lines featuring southern stars are on the way.
The commercials, however, did not go down well with Twitterati. With the company already facing criticism for pushing delivery partners to work long hours and not paying them fair wages, several on Twitter called out Zomato for investing in ad campaigns with stars instead of ensuring their employees are adequately compensated for their hard work.
Comedian Aditi Mittal took to social media and wrote, “Just pay your delivery partners fair wages and get them to send you a 10 second video on what they think. It’ll be more powerful than having to send idlis to Shahrukh Khan or whatever other ad you have lined up.”
Journalist Rahul Sabharwal also criticised the ad. He wrote, “The real magic will be if gig economy workers are afforded the same protections as permanent employees. All this does is romanticise a particularly grueling life.”
Writer-director Sulagna Chatterjee wrote, “So, what Zomato is basically saying is that they overwork their employees and don’t give a shit about them?”
Another Twitter user said that the company was “not even trying to hide its capitalist exploitation propaganda,” and added, “Overwork and underpay your employees, and glorify their helplessness with trash like this.”
Recently, Zomato and comedian Danish Sait received backlash on social media for a promotional video that showed Sait spending a day serving orders as a delivery executive. The video was criticised for not depicting the realities of the job. Soon after, the comedian removed the video from all his social media platforms and issued an apology.
“I promise you the video came from a good place, the purpose was to celebrate and appreciate what delivery partners do. In fact, that’s how the video ends – it emphasises how much easier they make our lives. Please accept my apology.” he wrote.