“We were surprised and disappointed to see that Uber Eats would use the disease of life-threatening food allergy as humor in its new Super Bowl commercial,” Sung Poblete, CEO of the industry group Food Allergy Research and Education, said in a statement on the group’s website. “Life-threatening food allergy is a disease, not a diet. Enough is enough.”
It may be worth editing the ad to replace or remove the scene, according to Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
“Part of releasing your Super Bowl ad in advance means you can see problems you did not anticipate, and this sounds like one of those cases,” Calkins said. “If there is already a vocal group who disapproves, the reach and scale of the Super Bowl may not help that.”
It is not unprecedented for advertisers to edit already-released commercials ahead of their Big Game appearance; multiple advertisers were forced to do so in 2020 following the death of Kobe Bryant just days before the Super Bowl. This year, following the death of Carl Weathers, FanDuel decided to edit both versions of its unreleased Super Bowl ad featuring the late actor.