Zomato Apologises as City Rages

Company left red-faced as tongue-in-cheek hiring campaign backfires

Published: 22nd May 2014 10:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2014 10:46 AM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: After a hiring campaign went disastrously wrong, Zomato, on Wednesday morning, issued an update and an apology. Here's an excerpt, "Clearly, our agenda here was to attract some great talent for Zomato, and nothing else. We thought that a little humour never hurt anyone, but turns out we were wrong. And that we may have overstepped a line or two. We have absolutely nothing against Bangalore or its amazing people. After all, if Bangalore didn't have such an awesome bunch of techies, we'd never have run this campaign. Just to clear the air, we meant no harm and never intended to hurt anyone's feelings. So all we want to say is, we're sorry. We're still on a mission to build a global India, and we'd love to have you join us on this journey."

The restaurant reviewing website launched what they thought was a tongue in cheek campaign. They compared Bangalore and Delhi in an effort to get more people to join their new Delhi office since they're shifting their headquarters permanently.  Zomato put out an entire post on their careers page delineating why Delhi makes for a better city than Bangalore.

"Our roads are wider, which means you spend less time on the road and more time on the right things - work and family," was one such jibe.

However, Bangaloreans were not amused. Ritesh Dwivedy, founder and CEO at JustEat felt that the campaign was a mistake.

"I don't think we can call this a campaign, really. It's just a blog post gone very, very wrong. We're not sure what would bring on something like that. Finding talent in Bangalore has been very easy, and there are so many young, talented kids out here who are raring to join start-ups, and it's not difficult to tap into that," he said.

"For Zomato to run an insinuating campaign after all the love and appreciation the city has shown them is really disappointing, distasteful and immature for a brand that wants to be global," said Arpan Peter, who was quite vocal on social networking sites against the campaign.

Loreto Maimoni, a senior copywriter at Ogilvy and Mather, said, "It is quite an enraging campaign. Just because they are shifting to Delhi doesn't make Delhi a better place. They should have used some other means of communication." When asked if the campaign would have worked at all to convince people to shift to Delhi, she added, "If a person is undecided, then maybe a campaign like this will work. But for someone who has been in Bangalore for a long time and is comfortable here, I don't see it happening. Especially because there are opportunities here as well. Unless the person is already looking to move to Delhi, or is very loyal to Zomato or his/ her aim is to work at Zomato only, I don't think so."

Nikhil Narayanan, associate creative director at Grey Worldwide, however, feels that the campaign was in fact cheeky and shouldn't have offended so many people in the first place.  "But I am guessing the techies don't have a sense of humour," he added.


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