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
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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: Marketing Executive - Urgent Requirement - Central Manchester

£20000 - £23000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

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

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

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

Guru Careers: Social Media Executive / SEO Executive

£20 - 25K + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Social Media...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence