KFC Pulls "Finger Lickin' Good" Ad Amid Coronavirus Concerns
Concerns over the coronavirus pandemic have even reached commercials for fast food.
KFC in the UK has pulled a recent "finger lickin' good" commercial that features, you guessed it, actors licking their fingers while enjoying KFC's fried chicken, after receiving a rash of complaints. A portion of that video here (via Fast Company):
One of the most important things one can do to prevent contracting COVID-19 is avoiding the touching of one's face. Just one example of such a complaint:
Hi @kfc @KFC_UKI you should consider pulling your ads which show people licking their fingers, as per this one on the @TfL Tube. It's NOT good to lick fingers during the Coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/sQL80P5Tms
— John Slinger (@JohnSlinger) March 12, 2020
It's not just KFC that is course-correcting in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hershey's also pulled a commercial for their chocolate Kisses that featured people hugging one another.
Ad Age reports:
Hershey says it made the decision Friday to pull spots featuring Bob Williams and Diggy Moreland handing out Hershey bars to strangers, often with hugs and handshakes. Coronavirus can spread with person-to-person contact. The spread of the virus has already led some people to stop performing usual greetings such as handshakes and has led to the cancellation of numerous events."Sadly, we have decided to temporarily replace two of our ads that feature human interaction, that include hugging and handshakes, due to the current sensitivities surrounding the COVID-19 virus," Hershey Co. Chief Marketing Officer Jill Baskin said in a statement to Ad Age. "At this time, our ads have been replaced with product-centric spots."
Coors Light announced that it would no longer be running a campaign that called itself the "Official Beer of Working Remotely," designed to run during the now canceled NCAA Men's National Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness. Coors Light cited concern that the ad made light of precautionary steps for people looking to stay healthy.
Advertising in the age of COVID-19 is certainly a tricky game. Brands must thread the needle between attractive messaging while not looking insensitive or cavalier about the public health risk presented by the global coronavirus pandemic.