Amid criticism, Zomato says recent ads ‘well-intentioned’

Advertisements that have showcased its delivery partners as pressed for time between orders and refusing selfies with Bollywood celebrities are “well-intentioned”, said restaurant aggregator .

The comments come at a time when the Gurugram-based company’s ads – starring Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif – have been called out for being tone-deaf and belittling the concerns of delivery partners.
Food delivery platforms have been under heightened scrutiny for their treatment of gig workers.

ET reported on August 4 that the delivery partners of Zomato and rival Swiggy were
taking to social media to protest insufficient compensation that cannot hedge against rising petrol prices, no first-mile pay, no long-distance return bonus, and daily earnings limits.

In the ad released earlier this month, a delivery partner decides to adhere to the delivery schedule rather than wait for a picture and share a birthday cake with the actors.


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Zomato said the ads were conceptualised six months ago – long before any social media chatter around gig worker payouts or working conditions – and were shot two months ago.

The company said they highlight delivery partners as heroes, highlight that one should talk respectfully to partners and raise the level of dignity associated with a delivery partner.

“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,” Zomato said in a statement released via microblogging platform Twitter. “As a company, we have always acknowledged whenever we’ve come short, and we understand that you expect better from us.”

In an interview with ET earlier this month, Deepinder Goyal, cofounder and CEO of Zomato,
said the company was financially empowering its around 200,000 delivery partners.

When asked about the resentment brewing among delivery executives who are not permanent staff and hence did not
directly benefit from its Initial Public Offering, he said the company was not exploiting them and that they were earning at least Rs 20,000 per month.

In its quarterly report to shareholders, Zomato said the Net Promoter Score, a measure for loyalty and satisfaction, of delivery partners had increased from -10% to 28% and that it continues to be on the up.

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