Irate parents mouth off over new KFC salad advert
A TELEVISION advert featuring workers who sing to each other while consuming fast food has attracted hundreds of complaints from parents who claim it encourages children to speak with their mouths full.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been swamped by objections to the commercial for the fried chicken firm KFC, which shows call-centre staff eating its Zinger Salads.
The watchdog has received 340 complaints since the advert was first screened just over a week ago. If the complaints are upheld, the commercial could be ordered off the air.
An ASA spokeswoman said: "Generally, the complainants think the ad encourages bad manners among children, making it appear funny to speak or sing with a mouthful of food.’’
But the Zinger Salad commercial is still a long way from being the most controversial advert of the year; a Pot Noodle commercial with the line "getting the horn" prompted 622 complaints.
The KFC advert is part of a multi-million pound campaign created for the firm by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, one of Britain’s leading advertising agencies.
A spokeswoman for KFC said: "It is not KFC’s aim to offend or upset the viewing public with our new advertisement and we apologise if we have done so. The advert in question is intended to be humorous and has been fully approved by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre."
KFC also ran into trouble with the ASA earlier this year when its advert for the Mini Chicken Fillet was banned because the burger pictured was bigger than the actual product.
Among the more illustrious campaigns by Bartle Bogle Hegarty was the 1985 TV advert in which the model Nick Kamen stripped down to his white boxer shorts in a launderette so he could wash his Levi 501s to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s I Heard it Through the Grapevine.
The advert, which was sixth in a poll of the top 100 British TV adverts, increased sales of Levi jeans by 800 per cent in a year - and reportedly did almost as much for boxer shorts.
Advertising which offended Christian sensitivities accounted for three of the four most controversial campaigns during 2004.
An advert for Mr Kipling’s mince pies, which featured a woman named Mary giving birth - she appeared to be in a hospital but was later shown in a church hall in a nativity play - attracted 806 complaints from viewers who said it mocked one of the Christian calendar’s central events.
A printed Channel 4 advert for the Paul Abbott series Shameless, in which the Gallagher family are posed like Jesus and the apostles in Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, received 264 complaints - the most for any printed advert - but the authority deemed them unjustified because it parodied the Renaissance masterpiece rather than the Christian sacrament.
The second most complained about printed advert was for Schering Health Care’s morning-after pill which carried the line "immaculate contraception". It prompted 182 complaints, many from Roman Catholics, which were upheld.
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