ASA slams ‘misleading’ KFC Zinger Chicken ads

KFC has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a poster promoting its new Spicy Zinger Chicken drumsticks because the regulator found that it was misleading.

The poster included the words “To try it just find 50p” and an arrow pointing to a sofa, suggesting that people should look for lost change. The ASA investigated after receiving complaints from consumers who were told the drumstick could only be purchased as part of a KFC set meal or bucket.

The fast-food chain defended the poster, which was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, by pointing out that the restrictions were stated in text at the bottom of the poster. But the ASA said that the text was too small to explain the nature of the offer properly. The regulator also ruled that the restriction appeared to directly contradict the headline.

It is not the first time KFC has faced complaints over an ad for its Zinger range. A TV ad featuring three women singing with their mouths full of Zinger Crunch salad was the most complained about ad of 2005, according to the ASA, receiving 1,671 complaints. Viewers were concerned that it might encourage bad manners among children. The complaints were not upheld.

• Meanwhile, the National Health Service’s new anti-smoking campaign, which features people with fish hooks in their mouths, to illustrate the addictive nature of smoking, has already triggered complaints.

An ASA spokeswoman confirms that it is considering investigating the ads, after consumers complained that they are too violent and could distress children.

The ads, created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, broke on January 1.

Latest from Marketing Week

Marketoonist on GDPR

The Marketoonist

Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here