A TV ad for Deliveroo, seen on 19 March 2019, showed various scenes of people eating food, using the Deliveroo app and having food delivered to them, all in unusual locations or circumstances. The voice-over stated, "Order what you want; where you want; when you want it” as someone was shown receiving a delivery in a field after apparently tunnelling under-ground to escape from prison, and as an astronaut was shown receiving a delivery in space. On-screen text at the bottom of the page stated “Some restrictions apply, obviously…”.
The complainants, who understood that Deliveroo did not deliver to their areas, challenged whether the claim "Order what you want, where you want ..." was misleading.
Roofoods t/a Deliveroo (Deliveroo) did not believe the situations shown in the ad came across as representative of real life but said they were intended to show that it was possible to order from Deliveroo in different everyday locations such as at work or at a friend’s house. They acknowledged that there were locations which they did not currently cover, but believed the text “Some restrictions apply, obviously,” which appeared at the point where the voice-over stated that Deliveroo was available “wherever you want,” made clear that Deliveroo would be unable to deliver in certain locations. They believed that was further reinforced by the exaggerated scenes which included deliveries in space and during a car chase. They said potential customers could check on their app to see whether their area was covered without incurring any cost and before making any purchasing decisions.
Clearcast said the ad did not highlight Deliveroo’s geographical coverage but the flexibility of their delivery systems. A customer did not need to be at home to place an order. It would be delivered to wherever a customer was, as long as they were within Deliveroo’s catchment area. Clearcast said they had advised the text “Some restrictions apply, obviously,” which they believed made clear that there were limitations to what was ordered, where and when.
The ASA considered viewers were likely to interpret the claim "Order what you want; where you want; when you want it” to be referring to the choice of food, geographical availability and choice of timing of delivery from Deliveroo. Given the absolute nature of the claim and the absence from the claim of any additional explanation, we considered they were likely to expect that those features of the service, including availability, applied throughout the UK without restriction. We acknowledged the appearance of the qualification “Some restrictions apply, obviously”; the use of settings that would be seen as fantastical; and the ability for consumers to check whether or not Deliveroo delivered in their area before placing an order. However, we considered the very clearly fantastical nature of the settings – for example, in space and a car chase – was likely to lead viewers to interpret the qualification to mean that the restrictions applied to places where it would be ridiculous to expect to be able to access the service, rather than that there were certain areas of the country that were excluded. We therefore considered the qualification in this context was not sufficient to correct a claim that was worded so absolutely and that neither the qualification nor the use of fantastical settings was sufficient to alter understanding of the claim. Given the expectation set up by the ad, we considered it was not sufficient to make consumers aware they would need to check for availability in their area. Because we considered the ad suggested delivery was unrestricted throughout the UK when that was not the case, we concluded that it was likely to mislead.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 (Qualification).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Roofoods t/a Deliveroo to ensure their ads did not claim or imply that delivery was unrestricted throughout the UK unless that was the case.