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Zomato responds to trolls over its ads starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif

Mumbai: Multinational restaurant aggregator and food delivery company, Zomato has responded to the social media trolls over its new advertisements starring Bollywood actors Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan. Netizens slammed the advertisements aggregator for ‘ill-treatment’ of its delivery partners.

In one of the ads, the delivery partner arrives outside the customer’s apartment and rings the bell. He is stunned when Hrithik Roshan opens the door. The actor wants to click a selfie with the delivery partner and he asks him to wait while he goes inside to get his phone. Then his phone beeps, notifying him about his next order and he leaves without clicking the selfie. The ad featuring Katrina Kaif also plays out along the same lines.

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Social media criticized that these ads show that the delivery partners do not have a minute for themselves between delivering orders and the company spends money on celebrity ads rather than paying its delivery partners well.

Here’s the full statement from Zomato:

” We released new TV ads (featuring Hrithik and Katrina) a week ago and have been receiving mixed feedback about them. Here’s what some people are saying our TV ads highlight –

Our ads are tone-deaf and we hired celebrities to divert the conversation around gig worker payouts and working conditions. Our delivery partners don’t even get a minute to themselves between orders, and stay under extreme pressure come rain or shine. We would rather spend $$ on celebrity ads than pay our delivery partners well

Since there are always two sides to a story, we would love to present our point of view. These ads were conceptualised 6 months ago (long before any social media chatter around gig worker payouts/working conditions), and were shot 2 months ago. We shot these ads with the following goals in mind.

Make delivery partners the hero of the ad .

Highlight that we should talk respectfully to delivery partners (like Hrithik and Katrina do in the ad, and very few other people do)

Raise the level of dignity associated with a delivery partner’s job
Demonstrate the pride which most of our delivery partners serve our customers with
Last but not the least, reiterate that every customer is a star for us and no less than Hrithik or Katrina
We believe that our ads are well-intentioned, but were unfortunately misinterpreted by some people.

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.

As we shared in our quarterly shareholder letter before, we’ve been actively working on this already, and our delivery partner Net Promoter Score (NPS) has increased from -10% to 28% (and continues to rise). We will also, very soon, publish a blog post explaining why we think our delivery partners are fairly compensated for the work/time that they put in.

We thank everyone for pushing us to do better and we urge you to continue keeping us on our toes. We won’t shirk away our responsibility’.


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