Zomato Erects Ads On Risque Sites, Withdraws A Few Days Later

Zomato Erects Ads On Risque Sites, Withdraws A Few Days Later

Zomato has risen to the task of creating creative for display ads on porn sites when the takeaway service announced its campaign on Tuesday, however a few days later the team announced the ads’ withdrawal due to “offence” caused.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

Earlier this week, the company’s director of international operations, Pramod Rao, penned a blog post about the company’s move, saying how the late-night delivery time and porn-consumption habits were rather in-line. We understand the ads were mainly in India.

“We were talking about how to tap into the already buzzing late-night delivery space, and started looking at innovative marketing opportunity areas,” wrote Rao.

“Highly optimised Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter ad campaigns are commoditised and therefore quite expensive. The alternative seemed almost obvious when someone said ‘Hey we should try advertising on porn sites’, and then justified it with ‘look, people watch porn, and people get hungry, so stop judging me.’”

The creative was, to be fair, pretty funny.


Note, we got these from the company’s blog post, rather than trawling the porn sites on our work computer to screenshot them.

A week into the experiment, Rao shared some insights – mainly being “advertising on porn sites costs very little money, and is significantly cheaper than other platforms. Like, significantly cheaper”.

However, a few days later the company wrote another blog post about the ads’ withdrawal, saying that while it had good traffic for a “ridiculously low cost”, some had been offended by the manoeuvre and the service had removed the ads.

“The response to the campaign was largely positive,” wrote Deepinder Goyal, founder and CEO of Zomato.

“People said we were ballsy for trying this at all, and that we broke new ground for doing this in a country where porn has long been a touchy topic. But there were a few things said that we simply couldn’t ignore.

“Some folks got offended by the campaign, felt the campaign was in poor taste, and it wasn’t something they expected from a brand of our standard. Some also said that all porn is not legal, and by advertising on porn websites, we are financially supporting abuse – certainly something we don’t want to do. Ever.”

While we’ve not been able to check the sites on the work computer, as the computer history might raise a few eyebrows from our bosses, we have contacted Zomato in Australia for more info.

It’s not the first time a food company has used the skin flick sites to nab some hungry customers. Eat24 experimented in a similar manner, with successful results, of which the team has written all their insights on the blog.