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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003