Uber Eats deletes part of peanut allergy in Super Bowl ad after angry backlash
On Super Bowl Sunday, don’t forget Uber Eats — but also, as the food delivery service has learned, don’t forget that trying to make light of life-threatening allergies is bad PR.
Uber Eats, a division of the ride-sharing company, on February 6 debuted its 60-second commercial for the 2024 Super Bowl, which focuses on the running forgetfulness joke. This ad, which marks Uber Eats’ fourth year in the Super Bowl, features David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston (who I forgot worked with him on Friends for 10 years); David and Victoria Beckham (who failed to remember the Spice Girls), as well as Jelly Roll trying to remove the tattoos from his face, and Usher ignoring the fact that he just performed the halftime show.
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The ad, from creative ad agency Special Group, also shows ordinary people playfully making absent-minded mistakes. But one scene was decidedly unfunny for many: A man eating a spoonful of peanut butter from a jar — and he’s developed hives and his left eye is swollen from an allergic reaction — looks at the nutritional label and says, “There’s peanuts in the peanut butter? Oh, it’s the ingredient.” “Basic.”
The ad was criticized by the non-profit advocacy group Food Allergy Research and Education, which said in a… statement“We are very disappointed that @UberEats used life-threatening food allergies as a joke in their Super Bowl ad. The suffering of the more than 33 million Americans with this condition is no joke. Life-threatening food allergies are a disease, not a diet. fed up.”
On Friday, Dr. Sung Poblete, CEO of FARE, said in a statement that she had spoken with Uber and that the company had agreed to remove the offensive scene. It said Uber “made a change to the ad that will be broadcast to the wide Super Bowl audience” by “deleting the reference to peanut allergies.” diverse Uber has confirmed that Uber will air an alternate version of the ad without the peanut butter scene in the CBS telecast but does not currently plan to edit or remove the ad that was previously released online.
Uber declined to comment.
The original Uber Eats website includes a disclaimer of sorts: tiny text underneath the hive-filled peanut butter man that says: “Please please please don’t forget that there are peanuts in your peanut butter.”
But that was not enough to calm critics, who took to social media to express doubt and anger. “You had a really cool commercial for the peanut allergy guy,” one X commenter wrote. “How about we replace him with a guy who forgets he has diabetes and doesn’t take his insulin, or a soldier with PTSD who forgets his medication?? No, those wouldn’t be funny either, would they? Edit the commercial.”