Colonel Sanders isn't anti-Christian! KFC advert cleared of offending Christians after 30 people complain campaign 'mocked religion'

The complainants argued that it mocked a key element of Christian worship

It's a light-hearted take on the crass commercialisation and hype surrounding Christmas, with silly lyrics and fried chicken to boot.

What's not to like?

Well, plenty according to 30 people who unsuccessfully complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that a Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas advert was likely to cause serious and widespread offence because it "mocked an element of Christian worship".

The campaign, which was screened last Christmas, featured a group of carol singers outside a house singing the lyrics: "We showed up at your house again singing all our stupid songs", with the male homeowner replying: "Normally I'd hose you down, but now it just seems wrong."

The company argued that the advert was tongue-in-cheek and typified the perspective of a stereotypical grumpy old man, based on Charles Dickens' character Ebenezer Scrooge, who was usually irritated by everything about Christmas, particularly Christmas songs.

However, the complainants argued that it mocked a key element of Christian worship. KFC said it was not its intention to mock any faith or religion and it did not seek to offend anyone.

Advertising clearance service Clearcast said it considered the possibility that Christians may have been offended by the ad when they first read the pre-production script, but took the view that, because the context was light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek and because the narrative was one of unity and harmony, it was unlikely that any offence taken from the ad would be serious or widespread among viewers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: "We considered that, whilst some viewers may have found the lyrics in reference to the carols to be flippant and at the expense of carol singers, we noted the ad made clear that the carol singers were outside someone's house and were not in a church or any other place of worship and that they were therefore not representative of Christian singing or the Christian faith more generally.

"Whilst we understood that some people of the Christian faith felt that the song lyric in the ad ridiculed their faith, we considered that most viewers would not interpret the lyrics as mocking Christianity (in total or in part) and concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."

In 2010 KFC in Australia was forced to pull an advert after being accused of racial insensitivity.

The spot featured a white cricket supporter winning over a crowd of black West Indies fans with a bucket of fried chicken. The advert was only ever screened in Australia but was widely criticised in the US after being posted on the internet.

KFC Australia said at the time the advert was "light-hearted" and had been "misinterpreted" by some in the United States, where it had not intended for the commercial to be shown.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate