Last week KFC avoided an investigation in to its ‘The Whole Chicken’ advertising campaign, which features chickens strutting their stuff to DMX’s ‘X Gon’ Give It To Ya’.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received almost 500 complaints, for a plethora of reasons ranging from the depiction of chickens being “disrespectful, “offensive” and “distressing”, to the campaign being “misleading” for featuring a healthy, older looking chicken, which many had said misrepresents the age, quality and living conditions of KFC chickens. Some viewers even had an issue with the song choice.
However, the ASA Council didn’t agree, and those sassy chickens are still on our TVs. They ruled that the ad didn’t break any rules and even went on to say that the ad portrays a “fantastical, bizarre scenario”, not to be taken seriously.
Obviously we’re a big fan of all things food, but it’s not the first time it’s caused controversy. We’ve taken a look back at some of the food ads that have got us talking, for the wrong reasons, over the years.
In 2013, Coke claimed that you could burn off a can of coke by ‘laughing out loud’ for 75 seconds, and people didn’t find it funny. Although the ASA only received 10 complaints from consumers, it was banned in the UK. Other claims included 25 minutes of dog walking and 10 minutes of dancing, but what wasn’t made clear is that all needed to be done together. Coca-Cola said the ad used “universally recognised mathematical signs” (a + sign) to indicate that the activities needed to be done in combination to burn the calories.
McDonald’s got themselves in trouble for its advert for the McDonald’s Steak Premiere, which it described as “steak in ciabatta with chargrilled peppers, onions and a black pepper mayo”. However, consumers complained that the product was flat and was in fact not as well filled with peppers and onions as the one shown. The Independent Television Commission agreed and pulled the advert. McDonald’s later admitted that it had moved toppings to the edge of the bun for filming.
Most recently Pepsi sparked backlash in America for their advert with Kendall Jenner. Complaints poured in for the advert for making light of Black Lives Matter and social movements. They later pulled the advert, which cost around $2million, and issued a formal apology.