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A screenshot from the advert

KFC ad of bride eating 'unhealthy' fried chicken falls foul of advertising watchdog

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has said the advert should not reappear in its current form.

LAST UPDATE | 21 Dec 2023

AN ADVERT for fast food chain KFC showing two women eating an “unhealthy” quantity of fried chicken has been found to breach Irish advertising standards.

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has said the advert should not reappear in its current form

The advertisement, set in a KFC restaurant, opens with a counter server placing a large bucket of chicken on a countertop.

The server says “here’s your order” to the customers, a bride and her bridesmaid. The server speaks again and says “congratulations” to the bride, and she responds with “thanks hon”.

The two women then head to their table, and they are featured holding a piece of chicken each from the bucket.

The bridesmaid tells the bride that “we should probably head to the church soon,” the bride points to her engagement ring and says “if I can wait 12 years for this, he can wait for 15 minutes”.

Text appears on the screen reading “when it’s got to be KFC. It’s got to be KFC”. The on-screen text is accompanied by a male voiceover who delivers the same message.

The advertisement ends with the bride and her bridesmaid taking a piece of chicken each from the bucket to eat.

The complainant told the ASAI that “as far as they were concerned, the bucket of chicken was a family share portion and they considered it to be unhealthy for two people to eat such a sharing bucket of fried chicken in 15 minutes”. 


Responding to the complaint, the advertisers told the ASAI that the narrative of the advert was about satisfying a craving for KFC, not encouraging excessive consumption.

It said that the bride’s line “he can wait 15 minutes” was a generalised, colloquial expression for an indeterminate amount of time.

It added that it was not intended to imply that the wedding itself would take place in exactly 15 minutes or that the bride and her friend had to eat all the chicken before then.

It said the bucket featured in the advertisement contained a six-piece chicken portion, so a mix of 6 bone-in chicken pieces, drumstick/thighs etc, the ASAI outlined.

The advertisers said that neither the bride, nor her friend were shown finishing the bucket, nor was it a given that they had to do so before leaving the restaurant.

In conclusion, the advertisers said that the ad had “presented a heightened comic narrative that drew a humorous contrast between the relative importance the bride placed on her craving for KFC and her upcoming wedding”.

The ASAI Executive viewed the bucket of chicken featured in the advert. The ASAI said that it “appeared to be the case that 6 pieces of relatively similar sized chicken pieces were in view around the top of the bucket”.

The ASAI Executive estimated that the depth of the bucket would contain more than one layer of chicken, therefore, “the impression created by the advertisement was that the portion size was larger than six pieces”.


The ASAI’s complaints committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. 

It noted that that Section 8.4 of the ASAI Code outlines that “marketing communications for food should not encourage or condone excess consumption. They should not encourage an unhealthy lifestyle or unhealthy/unbalanced eating or drinking habits”.

The Committee considered that the impression created by the portion size of the bucket depicted in the advertisement was that it contained more than six pieces of chicken, the sharing size for two people. They considered, therefore, the advertisement was in breach of Section 8.4 of the Code.

The ASAI determined that the advertisement should not reappear in its current form.

Other complaints

The ASAI also upheld two complaints against the National Dairy Council.

In one instance, a webpage on the Council’s website promoting the Farmer Ambassador Programme claimed that “Irish dairy has the most greenhouse gas emissions-efficient production system certainly in Europe and possible the world” and that “meeting growing international demand for dairy by producing it in Ireland is the best way of tackling the global climate change challenge”.

The complainant considered these statements to be misleading. 

The ASAI determined that the advertising should not reappear in its current form unless independent evidence was provided for the claims made. 

In another instance, a Council radio advert featured a farmer discussing the climate efficiency of Irish dairy and the steps they were taking to reduce their farm impacts on the environment. The advert claimed that “Irish dairy has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world”.

The complainant did not consider that the claim on the radio ad could be substantiated as they did not believe that Irish dairy farming was sustainable. 

The ASAI determined that the advertising should not appear in its current form. 

The ASAI Committee advised that “any reference to sustainability programmes in advertising include a direction to a source of information providing an explanation as to how the programmes were helping or intend to help the environment”. 

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