Zomato advertisement featuring Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan faces controversy

The all new Zomato advertisement featuring Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan is facing controversy around the Zomato ad campaigns. Netizens are trolling the company.

In recent events, the online food delivery firm released two advertisements with the slogan ‘Har customer hai Star.’ The first ad aired with Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, which shows him calling the Zomato valet ‘Jadoo’ because they are magically fast with their food deliveries. In the ad Hrithik offers to take a selfie with the man and walks away from the door to get his phone. As he steps away, the valet’s phone starts buzzing. “Ab yahan selfie ke liye rukta, toh next order late ho jaata. Voh kya hai na, Hrithik Roshan ho ya aap, apne liye har customer hai star (If I would have stopped for a selfie here, the next order would have gotten delayed. For us, be it Hrithik Roshan or you, every customer is a star).”

Similarly, the second advertisement that features Katrina Kaif shows how the delivery man arrives on time when her friends haven’t, on her birthday. She asks him to stay put for a moment to have a piece of cake. As soon as she goes in for the cake, the zomato delivery person gets a notification for his next delivery and disappears from the doorway. The ad again highlights, every customer is a ‘star’.

As soon as the new ads dropped online, viewers led to an outrage as they pointed out that the company is imposing a not-so-healthy work environment for the Zomato delivery partners/valets. Although, the organisation intended to promote the company’s fast delivery and special customer service, people have been questioning the intentions otherwise.

Viewers also criticised the company on hiring big budget stars for their ads where it has a low pay structure for its delivery riders. Earlier, delivery workers also took to social media to protest about lack of job insecurity, low pay, poor treatment and working conditions. So the act of workers’ love for their job as shown in the ad is considered an exercise in whitewashing.

Zomato also took to Twitter to respond on the back lashing by issuing a statement with the caption, “The other side of the story…” It was an attempt made by the comapany to explain their point of view and intention of the campaign. In its statement, the firm acknowledged that they had been hearing about the criticism of the ads, mentioning that they were being called “tone-deaf” for hiring celebrities “to divert the conversation around gig worker payouts.”

According to Zomato, they wanted to paint their delivery partners as a “hero” and to encourage the practice of giving respect to the people delivering food by the customers.

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