Finger licking isn't good: KFC lands in soup over viral ad amid coronavirus

Topics KFC | Pizza Hut | Coronavirus

KFC says it's "pa­used" the television, print and billboard campaign, launched last month
Viral ads

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic when people are being encouraged to stay at home, Pizza Hut has come up with an initiative, #QualityTimeNotQua­rantine, that urges people to appreciate the time they have got with themselves and family. While Pizza Hut focuses on the bright side of the threat, another fast-food chain, KFC, has pulled out a series of adverts in the UK featuring customers licking their fingers, after complaints they would encourage the spread of coronavirus, as reported by KFC says it's "pa­used" the television, print and billboard campaign, launched last month. Customers in the adverts, which racked up 163 complaints to the Advertising and Standards Authority, were seen eating Colonel Sander's fried chicken in stores and licking their fingers with KFC's usual "finger lickin good" stra­p­li­ne. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Nando’s restaurants, in an apparent reply to the KFC strapline, launched a digital campaign this month, saying: “Turns out finger licking isn’t good.” Its Twitter post, shared on March 18, says, “The power is in our hands, wash them.”

‘The mother of all disruptions’

The coronavirus outbreak is unprecedented in its scale and severity for humans and supply chains. The choking of supply chains, however, is “a second-order problem,” and the foremost priority is to ensure the availability of medical supplies, Senthil Veeraraghavan, professor of operations, information and decisions at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has said in an interview with the Wharton Business Daily radio show on SiriusXM. An article on Knowlwdge@Wharton also quotes Morris Cohen, university professor of ope­ra­tions, information and decisions, as saying that the pharmaceutical industry is particularly challenged now since “the vast majority of the active in­gre­di­ents are manufactured in China”. Veeraraghavan adds even if production comes back to 100 per cent levels, there will be delays of up to a few months in getting products to consumers, and that situation will continue until fall 2020. Cohen says, “As the shortages worsen before they get resolved, prices of many products could go up for consumers.” The ar­ticle also reports a McKinsey report, which says that companies could “stabilise their supply chains”.

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