The Advertising Standards Authority is formally investigating the TV spot after assessing 30 complaints challenging whether the featured line “all our stupid songs” mocks Christian hymns. The contentious lyric was part of the fast food chain’s tongue-in-cheek take on the traditional Christmas number one single that poked fun at the more serious tone of other campaigns.
Some viewers, however, failed to see the funny side and have complained on Twitter about the ad’s perceived insensitivity towards religion.
The Church of England played down the concerns claiming it’s the “kind of schmaltz that might leave you reaching for a bucket, though not necessarily a bucket of chicken”.
A spokesman for the church adds: “For Christians Christmas is a time of prayer and parties where we celebrate God entering into human history. The KFC ad – just like the product it promotes – won’t be to everyone’s taste but I wouldn’t complain about it. As a whole the advert seems to be more Glee and High School Musical rather than Kings College Cambridge or 9 Lessons and Carols.”
Despite the complaints, the advert appears to have gone down well with the majority of KFC fans over the last month. It has generated over 500,000 plays on YouTube and clocked up over 900,000 likes on Facebook during the period.
KFC defended the BBH-created ad’s tongue-in-cheek style but declined to add more to the statement it made when it was first revealed the ASA had received complaints.