An exaggerated TV ad, screened in March, depicted Deliveroo riders venturing off the beaten track to hand over food orders in person; including prison and the vacuum of outer space, with only a small on-screen disclaimer making it clear that astronauts and prisoners were likely to go hungry.
Throughout the unlikely run of deliveries, a narrator intones: “Order what you want; where you want; when you want it” although the eagle-eyed could also read a short caveat: ‘Some restrictions apply, obviously…’
In all the commercial drew 22 complaints from viewers irked that Deliveroo did not operate on their home turf, leading the ASA to determine that the promotion was ‘likely to mislead’.
Deliveroo had attempted to argue that its extreme examples were not meant to be taken literally but this argument didn’t hit home with the regulator, which wrote: “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.”
A Deliveroo spokeswoman, said: “Deliveroo designed a playful advert to show that, through our service, people can order food to a wide range of places, whether home or work, for a range of occasions.
"We know some will be disappointed that their local area isn't currently served by Deliveroo, but we are expanding rapidly across the UK.”
Despite this setback, Deliveroo has just been named as the UK’s fastest-growing brand.