KFC Snack! in the Face

Ad:
KFC Snack App is a multi-level animated game where the aim is to help save the Popcorn Chicken characters that have been stolen from KFC by the villainous character, Professor Snackbot.  Players can win prizes of KFC “snacks” and can share them with friends on Facebook if they don’t wish to redeem them in store.  It markets unhealthy products in the guise of a fun activity.

Where it appeared:
Available for download online in late 2013.

The community said:
The app breaches the industry codes because it markets unhealthy products to children using animation, adventure themes and is unethical in promoting the “sharing” (peer-to-peer marketing) of products with others on social media.

What the advertiser said:
“The landscapes and backgrounds used in the advertisement include the lairs of a secret laboratory, artic ice and volcano which are akin to villainous settings used in various mainstream spy based films aimed at an adult audience.”

What the Advertising Standards Board said:
“Overall the Board considered that the visuals in the game would be attractive to children, but considered that the visuals in the game are not of primary attraction to children.”

OPC discussion:
Although the outcome was disappointing, the fact the complaint was considered by the Board at all under the QSRI (the code covering fast food) can be contrasted to an earlier complaint about an app for Nesquik, which was summarily dismissed in 2013 because apps are not covered under the relevant code.

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