Peter York on Ads: In-your-face bad manners, but so 'delish'

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The Independent Online

Zero tolerance now. Let's salute Bluewater shopping centre, the Athens of north-west Kent, for its stand against hoodies and baseball caps. Bluewater's people say there's a behavioural issue, and astonishingly, they're more worried about that than the style issue. They say feral youths wear hoodies and caps to conceal their faces while they're misbehaving. Bluewater should get a licence from the Home Office to serve Asbos on worryingly dressed people.

Zero tolerance now. Let's salute Bluewater shopping centre, the Athens of north-west Kent, for its stand against hoodies and baseball caps. Bluewater's people say there's a behavioural issue, and astonishingly, they're more worried about that than the style issue. They say feral youths wear hoodies and caps to conceal their faces while they're misbehaving. Bluewater should get a licence from the Home Office to serve Asbos on worryingly dressed people.

The new KFC commercial is obviously fomenting national disorder too. It features women who sing with their mouths full and encourage bad manners. It's become the most complained about TV commercial ever. Ever. Since records began. Since God was a boy. Since 1955. The Daily Mail had a half-page about it. It's that important.

All this fuss shows people have their hearts in the right place. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance about unpleasantness on TV. Children who watch this ad - and let's face it, particularly Not Like Us kinds of children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder because they eat Turkey Twizzlers all day and can't use a knife and fork properly - might grow up to be Happy Slappers.

Actually, guiltily, I rather like this commercial. It's got three women working in a call-centre - an emergency call-centre - singing in a muffled but soulful way about KFC's Zinger Chicken Salad. One's a fat blonde in the EastEnders style, one's black-black and one's a pale black mix - ie it's modern Britain. They say such things as "these tortilla chips are delish" or "that spicy salsa is a 'mare to get out". It's all part of KFC's "serving up soul" campaign which is so consistent and so much better than McDonald's all-over-the-place messages. This commercial combines The Office and Deep Soul with a touch of Pot Noodle attitude - and that's modern Britain too. I say guiltily because it occurs to me that these women's children could very well be wearing hoodies by the age of seven.

Peter@sru.co.uk

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