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KFC Is Pulling This Famous Catchphrase It's Used Since 1956

Promoting fast food in the time of coronavirus brings changes.

The long reach of the coronavirus continues to show up in the strangest ways. Take, for example, the iconic fast-food giant KFC, which just announced it's suspending the famous advertising tagline, "It's Finger Lickin' Good," because the phrase is inappropriate to use during the COVID-19 outbreak.

KFC announced its plans to temporarily ditch the slogan—which it's been using for 64 straight years—in a self-effacing and surprisingly funny press release titled, "AND THE WINNER OF THE AWARD FOR THE MOST INAPPROPRIATE SLOGAN FOR 2020 GOES TO…KFC."

"The home of the world's favorite fried chicken 'fesses up to slogan being a bit 'off'… for now," the press release notes, before making clear that the use of "It's Finger Lickin' Good" slogan will immediately be paused in advertising around the globe starting on August 24. "Think we can all agree, this year has been like no other, and, right now, our slogan doesn't feel quite right." (Related: Should You Eat Fast Food During the Coronavirus? Here's What the Experts Say.)

This is not the first time that KFC has struggled with the use of their famous ad campaign amid the coronavirus. In early March, KFC pulled a television spot running in the UK that featured actors licking their fingers. You may recall that the earliest days of the pandemic featured nonstop reminders not to touch your face for fear of contracting the coronavirus … an action that finger-licking actually requires. Of course, there's the potential danger of spreading germs that comes with licking your fingers before (or after) touching any public surface, such as doorknobs, soda fountains, and utensil dispensers at your local fast food outlet. (Ew.)

"We find ourselves in a unique situation—having an iconic slogan that doesn't quite fit in the current environment," KFC's global chief marketing officer, Catherine Tan-Gillespie, said in a statement. "While we are pausing the use of It's Finger Lickin' Good, rest assured the food craved by so many people around the world isn't changing one bit."

For those concerned with the potential permanence of this famous fast-food phrase, KFC's statement ended on a more uplifting note. "And for all those fans, don't worry – the slogan will be back. Just when the time is right." Phew!

For more, check out 27 Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches—Ranked!