The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent advert regulator, doesn’t let problematic ads off even when it comes to big franchisors such as Kentucky Fried Chicken – something the fast food chain discovered the hard way
It seems that KFC has already found its way onto a list of troublesome ads thanks to outraged UK viewers. After a television ad showed people singing with their mouths full in 2005 and gathered a record 1,000 complaints, this new ad got the firm in hot water for its placement.
With marketing for its Mars Krush’em milkshake spotted and banned by the ASA, its position on a phone box outside a primary school was deemed inappropriate for clearly selling an unhealthy product to people under the age of 16. For this reason, it was considered a breach of the high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) regulations, which prevent such goods being promoted to minors.
Another case which recently overstepped the Advertising Codes was a Kellogg's TV ad for Coco Pops Granola which found place between the episodes of Mr Bean. Consequently, it was also banned for the same reason– advertising directly to children. Both ads were caught by the Obesity Health Alliance, a UK coalition that combats unhealthy eating.
Commenting on the issue, a KFC spokesperson said: “This was a total mistake and we're really sorry for it. It was the result of human error at one of our media agencies, which the ASA has accepted and we made sure the advert was taken down as soon as we found out.”
While human mistakes are possible to occur in the advertising sector, the newly-updated UK regulations are ensuring that people are protected from inappropriate or unhealthy content and franchisors should also keep their eyes peeled when promoting their products.