An advertisement by Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, has come into a bit of heat amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. While public health organisations around the globe are stressing on the importance of hand-washing to combat the spread of the deadly virus, KFC, on the other hand, recently released an ad to highlight the deeply satisfying lick while relishing one of their fried chickens. According to an international media report, around 160 people have complained to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the restaurants 'ill-timed Finger Lickin' campaign.
The advertisement shows a montage of diners licking their fingers after having food from KFC. After the release, several people complained to the advertising watchdog and reportedly said that the promotional clip was irresponsible and the behaviours being showcased helped increase the chance of the spread of coronavirus. As per reports, the ASA is currently investigating the complaints and no investigation has been launched as of yet.
However, KFC in a reported statement confirmed that it has now halted the nationwide marketing drive. A spokesperson reportedly said that it isn't the right time to be airing this campaign and, therefore, KFC has decided to pause it for now. The spokesperson further added that it is, however, proud of the advertisement and looks forward to bringing it back at a later date.
KFC's ad has also received backlash from several internet users. One user wrote, “That's how to get the coronavirus for sure”. Another said, “Are you trying to illustrate the quick spread of Coronavirus for us simpletons? Thanks, Mr Sanders”. “The food at KFC always made me feel sick afterwards. Now it's going to make a hell of a lot of people sick with Coronavirus. This ad is obviously a marketing stunt but it could result in the death of customers. Very risky indeed,” added another. One YouTube user also wrote, “Finger licking Coronavirus”.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic after the virus spread to more than 100 countries, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,900 people worldwide. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom further even urged all nations to get very serious over the issue and take all necessary measures to contain the virus from spreading at this rate. Tedros said, that the word 'Pandemic' cannot be used lightly or carelessly due to its strong connotation.