Britons Call KFC Ad Finger-Lickin' Awful

The folks at Kentucky Fried Chicken thought the television ad was funny. After all, who wouldn’t laugh at people trying to sing with a mouthful of food? The Brits, that’s who. More than 1,600 of them have complained about the ad to the nation’s Advertising Standards Authority, which monitors the industry, setting a new record for complaints. Viewers said they feared the KFC ad would encourage bad manners among children and that it mocked people with speech impediments. The ASA disagreed and refused to order KFC to pull the ad for its Zinger Chicken Salad. But prudish viewers won’t have to see it again. KFC said the planned run for the ad, which was produced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty of London, is over and it won’t buy additional time. The brouhaha over the KFC ad also illuminated that the ASA keeps really good records on people whining about ads. The ad eclipsed the previous record for complaints, 1,187, filed against a 1995 print ad by the British Safety Council that depicted the Pope wearing a helmet in a campaign promoting safe sex. The previous record for complaints about a television ad was 860, filed against a Wrigley gum ad that showed a man regurgitating a dog.