KFC suspends advertising of 64-year-old iconic slogan 'Finger Lickin' Good' globally

KFC has paused advertising of its iconic 64-year-old slogan "Finger Lickin' Good". In a global press release, the fried chicken company said it felt that the slogan does not "feel quite right" this year, given the pandemic situation. Catherine Tan-Gillespie, global chief marketing officer at KFC, said its the slogan does not quite fit the current environment. However she reassures that although the use of its slogan will be paused, its food will remain the same.

"Rest assured we’re still going to be providing Finger Lickin’ Good chicken and a responsible experience for our amazing team members and guests around the world," the press release said. Although the company did not state how long it will pause advertising of its slogan, it said the slogan will be back "when the time is right".

In a statement to Marketing, Angelina Villanueva, CMO of KFC Malaysia, confirmed the move to removing the words "Finger Lickin' Good" in its communications. She added that this is because "it is not the best thing to do given the COVID-19 situation". Villanueva also said the suspension is temporary, and KFC will not give up its slogan. Meanwhile, Lynette Lee, general manager, KFC Singapore told Marketing that the advertising pause is only in certain markets, and the Singapore market has no plans to do so. 

To promote the pause in advertising, KFC has unveiled a short clip on its KFC UK and Ireland YouTube channel. The 30-second clip featured various KFC chicken buckets, with the "Finger Lickin'" words blurred out from its captions. It ends with the tagline "That thing we always say? Ignore it. For now". The video has garnered 23,343 views at the time of writing.

Earlier in March, KFC pulled down one of its advertisements in UK which showed consumers licking their fingers (and even each other's fingers) after eating its chicken. According to multiple media reports, the ad received negative feedback from consumers who found it inappropriate given the pandemic situation, and was eventually taken down.

Separately in July, KFC Singapore called for a creative pitch after a five-year partnership with Ogilvy Singapore as part of its corporate review process. Ogilvy Singapore has declined to pitch for the account. The pitch is closed-door invitation to a total of four invited agencies.

With this pitch, KFC Singapore looks to hire an agency to support its brand strategy with distinctive communications and fresh creatives. The appointed agency will lead the communication direction for all their campaigns in Singapore. The length of the appointment is for a period of one year, with option to extend for another year.

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