ENGLISH NEWS: KFC’s ‘what the cluck?’ advert banned after parents complain

A KFC advert has been banned from the UK by an advertising watchdog. Credit: KFC.

A KFC advert has been banned by an advertising watchdog after parents complained about its tag line “what the cluck?” The ad was printed on a posters and in newspapers to promote a new £1.99 meal deal.

The argument about whether or not the ads should be banned centres around whether the word ‘cluck’ would be substituted for a swear word, with mums and dads across the country voicing their concerns that the catchy saying was too close to an explicit phrase.

KFC claims that its chicken pun phrase was merely what they expected customers to say to “a great value KFC deal.” However, this was rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), who has since decided to ban the advert from being used. An ASA spokesperson said:

“KFC said they did not agree that the claim included a word which was a substitute for an expletive.  

“They said the word “cluck” was used as an onomatopoeic reference to the noise of a chicken, which was in context and wholly relevant to the deal, the product featured and the brand. 

“The written word ‘cluck’ was used in the poster and press ads and we considered people would interpret that as alluding specifically to the expression, ‘what the f**k’.”

The fast food chain responded and said ‘cluuuuck’ would prevent readers from making the connection to the swearword, and that it was it was unlikely that the advert would’ve been see by children because it didn’t appear on posters within 200 metres of schools.

But as Euro Weekly News understands, ASA stood firmly behind their decision and have banned the advert on the grounds that it broke the rules on responsible advertising and has caused harm and offence.

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Written by

Isha Sesay


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