Why Uber Eats' Super Bowl 2024 Commercial Is So Problematic

Even before Super Bowl LVIII has begun, an ad slated to air during the game's commercial breaks is already problematic. Uber Eats' ad for the game highlights how the business can deliver more than just food with the phrase, "Whatever you forget, remember Uber Eats gets anything." It features a series of people being highly forgetful. For instance, Jennifer Aniston fails to remember her co-star David Schwimmer in a hilarious "Friends" reunion, and David and Victoria Beckham can't remember the name of her music group, the Spice Girls: "Remember when you used to be a Pepper Lady?"

However, Uber Eats faced controversy due to its depiction of someone, supposedly with a peanut allergy, eating peanut butter from a jar. In the clip, the person says, "There's peanuts in peanut butter? Oh, it's the primary ingredient" while displaying signs of a severe allergic reaction like facial swelling and hives. (It's worth remembering, however, that extreme reactions to peanut allergies can be fatal.) Many people online felt that this "joke" was completely insensitive, including the non-profit organization Food Allergy Research and Education, or FARE. The organization took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to call out Uber Eats, saying, "The suffering of 33M+ Americans with this condition is no joke."

Uber Eats will remove the peanut allergy clips from the ad

The food allergy community expressed concerns about showing this problematic ad to potentially 200 million people who will watch Super Bowl LVIII, as this was the number of people who watched the game in 2023. Another X user explained, "When you joke about allergies you teach the public it's ok to not take them seriously, and that can have deadly consequences."

According to a video posted to X on February 9, the CEO of FARE, Dr. Sung Poblete, spoke with Uber Eats, and they decided to cut the peanut allergy clip from the ad. In the video, Poblete stated, "Thank you Uber for hearing our perspective and becoming a FARE ally." As of this writing, the original ad is still uploaded to YouTube. Perhaps Uber Eats has learned that unless it wants bad PR, it should treat life-threatening conditions with utmost sensitivity.