Uber Eats is facing intense scrutiny following the airing of its Super Bowl advertisement, which has drawn sharp criticism for its seemingly insensitive portrayal of peanut allergies. The advert, titled “Don’t Forget Uber Eats,” was eagerly anticipated by millions of viewers on Super Bowl Sunday but has sparked outrage over what many perceive as a tasteless joke at the expense of individuals with allergies.
The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) charity expressed disappointment and surprise at Uber Eats’ decision to incorporate allergies into their commercial in a humorous light. The organization, dedicated to raising awareness and providing support for those affected by food allergies, condemned the trivialization of a serious health concern.
One individual, who personally suffers from a peanut allergy, voiced their disgust, labeling the ad as “disgusting, tone-deaf, and completely unnecessary.” This sentiment reflects a broader sentiment among viewers who found the depiction of an allergic reaction as comedic fodder to be inappropriate and offensive.
The controversial advertisement features notable celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and David and Victoria Beckham. The premise revolves around the theme of forgetfulness, with various scenarios depicting people forgetting important details.
However, it is a particular scene that has sparked the most controversy. In this moment, a man is depicted experiencing an allergic reaction, evident by the hives on his face and a swollen eye. As he scrutinizes a jar of peanut butter, he incredulously asks, “There’s peanuts in peanut butter?” before realizing, “Oh, it’s the primary ingredient.”
Critics argue that this portrayal not only makes light of a potentially life-threatening situation but also perpetuates misconceptions surrounding food allergies. By framing the allergic reaction as a punchline, Uber Eats inadvertently undermines the severity of allergic conditions and the challenges faced by those living with them.
The backlash against Uber Eats’ Super Bowl ad underscores the need for sensitivity and awareness regarding food allergies, which affect millions of individuals worldwide. For those with allergies, the fear of accidental exposure and the potential consequences are ever-present realities. Trivializing such experiences through humor only serves to trivialize their struggles and diminish the importance of allergen safety.
In response to the growing criticism, the BBC reached out to Uber Eats for comment. The company has yet to issue a formal response to the controversy surrounding their advertisement. However, the backlash serves as a reminder of the responsibility that brands bear in their portrayal of sensitive topics and the impact that their messaging can have on vulnerable communities.
As discussions surrounding the advert continue to unfold, it highlights the importance of promoting empathy and understanding when addressing health-related issues in the media. Ultimately, the controversy surrounding Uber Eats’ Super Bowl ad serves as a poignant reminder of the power of advertising to both shape perceptions and influence societal attitudes towards important health issues.