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.

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

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