Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Wednesday, 1 June 2005 11:38 UK

Watchdog backs 'bad manners' ad

KFC's Zinger Crunch Salad ad
The advert used subtitles to explain what the staff were singing

A KFC TV advert which prompted a record 1,671 complaints did not breach industry guidelines, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

Many of the complaints about the Zinger Crunch Salad ad, featuring call centre workers singing with their mouths full, said it encouraged bad manners.

But the ASA ruled it was unlikely to prompt bad manners in children.

Meanwhile the ASA has called for an Atkins diet advert to be pulled because its health claim cannot be proved.

The regional press advert showed pictures of Atkins-branded foods, headed "Enjoy a healthier lifestyle."

But Atkins Nutritionals Inc could not prove the assertion about the low-carbohydrate diet was true, the ASA found.


The advertising watchdog did not support complaints about the KFC commercial that it encouraged behaviour with a risk of choking, showed call centres in a bad light, or mocked people with speech and hearing impediments.

Following the ruling, KFC said it had not intended "to offend or upset the viewing public with our advertisement and we apologise if we have done so".

"The advert in question was intended to be humorous ."

KFC added that the commercial had finished its run and would not be shown again.

Your comments

One of the funniest adverts I'd seen in ages
Toby Field, Eastbourne, UK

When I first saw the advert on TV I couldn't stop laughing. I thought it was one of the funniest adverts I'd seen in ages. I must admit that the novelty has worn off now, but it is still a funny advert and I can't see what all the fuss is about.
Toby Field, Eastbourne, UK

I am appalled at the ASA's decision about this advert not encouraging bad manners. As a primary school teacher I spend much of my time trying to promote good manners in my children and at meal times in particular.
Charlottte Tallamy, London, England

This latest complaint against KFC is another appalling display of mind numbing pettiness perpetrated by embittered middle Englanders with too much time on their hands. Thank goodness the ASA weren't too chicken to put the brakes on this ridiculous protest. Lettuce watch TV in peace, I say!
Andrew Silke, London, UK

It's an advert not some educational documentary shown in schools. Have the people in this country all had a sense of humour transplant? All people seem to do is moan about stuff on TV. Just take it for what it is - a good old laugh!
Dave Wood, Coventry, England

I think this KFC ad is brilliant, hilarious! We need to STOP being so critical of everything and learn to laugh at ourselves once in a while.
Sara Shahzad, Reading, UK

The ad certainly wouldn't send me rushing into KFC
Penny Whipp, Wimborne, Dorset England
I think the advert is pretty disgusting. It is never pleasant to "see" people talking with their mouths full and therefore possibly spitting bits out. Personally it makes me feel sick. The ad certainly wouldn't send me rushing into KFC.
Penny Whipp, Wimborne, Dorset England

How depressing. Do people really have no sense of humour or anything better to do than complain these days. Why can't we have a bit of fun?
Mike Jones, Wallasey, England

In a time when music and film is glamorising gun and drug culture in the UK, people see fit to complain about an innocent, funny ad featuring people singing with their mouths full. Madness! I bet KFC and the advertisers can't believe their luck with the amount of publicity this ad has now received. One of the funniest ads I've seen in a long time.
Muddyboots, Derbyshire, UK

As the parent of a young child, I find adverts like this unhelpful when trying to teach my child table manners. What it certainly does not achieve is to make me want to buy KFC products, so the company has wasted its money purchasing this advertising from an agency which clearly has not caught the mood of the country at present.
Gordon, Leicestershire

I think the people making these complaints have nothing better to do with their time. They should try going out occasionally and having a life.
Andy C, Lancaster, UK

I think the KFC advert is appalling and will encourage kids to copy the bad manners. They need little encouragement as it is nowadays.
Annoyed Mum, Bristol

It's brilliant! The whole range of recent KFC ads have been excellent, with the mixture of music and humour. Parents should be teaching their children good manners, and therefore children who have been properly taught will also laugh at this ad. Get a life anyone who thinks otherwise!! Watch my lips - it's only an advert.
Catherine Hatton, Southampton, UK

I'm not too bothered about the actual ruling (the ASA don't appear to have any ideas about moral behaviour) but every time the advert came on we switched to another channel and since seeing the appalling advert we've stopped buying from KFC because we are obviously not the type of clients they appear to be catering for.
Geoff Boothman, Crawley, England

I would get the sack if answered the phone with my mouth full
Kelly Porter, Sheffield, England
I think it is rather disgusting. Who wants to see grown women's mouths full while they are singing a ridiculous song about the food. Also, the fact that one of them answers the helpline phone with her mouth full displays a bad impression on customer service workers - which is what I am. I would get the sack if answered the phone with my mouth full.
Kelly Porter, Sheffield, England

Well, the advert made me laugh. Some people should stop taking life so seriously. There's enough misery in the world, and sometimes we need to lighten up! It's only a commercial. If you don't like it, don't watch TV; there are other things to do...
Mel, Worthing, UK

I immediately turned over when I saw this utter garbage. If anything it would have put me off the product. I supposed it achieved the desired reaction from the marketing people. The fact that I am writing this to you proves it.
Steve Crawford, Chesterfield England

Ban for 'gun glamour' Reebok ad
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