When it comes to crafting marketing messages, some lines are better left uncrossed. Case in point: Uber Eats recently found itself in hot water over an ad spot that pushed the boundaries a bit too far. The controversial scene, which made light of someone with a peanut allergy accidentally consuming peanut butter, raised concerns among consumers, prompting the company to make some adjustments.
Originally, the ad was part of Uber Eats’ ambitious Super Bowl marketing campaign, featuring Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer in a lighthearted reunion. However, amidst the humorous anecdotes of forgetfulness, including Usher forgetting his halftime show and Victoria Beckham forgetting the Spice Girls, the scene involving a person unknowingly consuming peanut butter struck a nerve.
Criticism came swiftly from advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), which expressed disappointment over the portrayal of life-threatening food allergies as a source of humor. FARE emphasized that food allergies affect millions of Americans and should not be trivialized in advertising. Following discussions with FARE, Uber Eats made the decision to remove the contentious scene from the ad.
This incident is not an isolated one in the world of Super Bowl advertising. Recently, gambling company FanDuel also had to make adjustments to an ad featuring the late Carl Weathers following his passing. These instances serve as reminders of the delicate balance that advertisers must strike between entertainment and sensitivity, especially when dealing with topics that impact people’s health and well-being.