An advert considered “disrespectful to chickens” has been revealed as the most complained about of 2017 after ruffling the feathers of more than 700 people.
The one-minute television advert named The Whole Chicken, which KFC said was inspired by the quality of its ingredients, featured a chicken dancing to DMX’s X Gonna Give It To Ya.
It attracted 755 complaints of fowl play with some viewers claiming it was “disrespectful to chickens and distressing for vegetarians, vegans and children” because it depicted a chicken which was “heading for slaughter.”
The complaints were not upheld, and the ASA ruled the advert was unlikely to cause distress or offence as “there were no explicit references to animal slaughter.”
Between 2005 – 2014 KFC’s Zinger Crunch Salad ad was the most complained about advert of all time, after receiving 1,671 complaints. It showed call centre workers talking with their mouths full which people said could “encourage bad manners amongst children”.
A McDonald’s ad featuring a grieving son ranked fifth in the 2017 list after attracting 256 complaints.
It showed a boy asking his mother about his deceased father. The boy is shown visiting McDonald’s and enjoying a Filet-o-Fish while his mother tells him: “That was your dad’s favourite too.”
The advert was pulled and McDonald’s apologised for the upset it had caused.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Tackling misleading ads continues to be the bread and butter of our work, but 2017 again showed that it is ads that have the potential to offend that attract the highest numbers of complaints. But multiple complaints don’t necessarily mean that an ad has fallen on the wrong side of the line: we look carefully at the audience, the context and prevailing societal standards informed by public research before we decide.”