‘Sexist’: Racy KFC ad cops heat


FAST-FOOD giant KFC has been condemned for running an ad that objectifies women and plays on the sexist idea "boys will be boys".

The ad recently came to the attention of Collective Shout, a grassroots movement against the objectification of women, and was called out for its unhealthy stereotyping.

The 15-second commercial for KFC's Zinger popcorn box opens with a young woman checking her appearance in the reflection of a parked car window.

As she leans forward to adjust her cleavage, the window rolls down to reveal a very unhappy mother and two young boys staring open-mouthed.

The woman "saves" herself from further embarrassment by saying "did someone say KFC?" - a catchphrase that is part of a series of ads showing people using KFC to get out of awkward situations.

This still from the ad shows the young woman right at the moment she realises there is a mum and two young boys sitting in the car. Picture: Supplied/YouTube
This still from the ad shows the young woman right at the moment she realises there is a mum and two young boys sitting in the car. Picture: Supplied/YouTube


According to Collective Shout spokesperson Melinda Liszewski, the ad "grooms young boys" as it plays on certain "sexist" behavioural expectations.

"The ad is a play on tired old stereotypes, where young women are sexually objectified for the benefit of men - even young boys - and the males are helplessly transfixed when confronted with the opportunity to ogle a woman's body," she said.

This still shows the young boys in the car supposedly ‘ogling’ the young woman. Picture: Supplied/YouTube
This still shows the young boys in the car supposedly ‘ogling’ the young woman. Picture: Supplied/YouTube

"Ads like this reinforce the false idea that we can't expect better from boys. It is another manifestation of the 'boys will be boys' trope which presents an obstacle to challenging the sexist ideas that underpin gender inequality and violence against women."

Ms Liszewski said the ad was also problematic in that it potentially contributed to reinforcing harmful "gendered stereotypes" and cultivating unhealthy attitudes towards women.

"The research is solid: attitudes shape behaviour. A growing number of reports show how re-enforcing of gender stereotypes - including in advertising - contributes to a lesser view of women, resulting in their mistreatment," she said.

The commercial, which is running during the Big Bash League coverage, is also featured on KFC's YouTube channel; however, comments have been turned off.

On social media, some who've seen the ad have been offended, expressing surprise the ad was given the green light by censors.

"How did this commercial pass the censors on prime time?" one person posted on Facebook.

 

On Twitter, following a post by a radio station in response to claims by Collective Shout, commenters didn't seem quite as bothered.

"They should apologise for the 3 pieces of overcooked tough-as-nails pieces I got last Friday … I won't be back in a hurry," one said.

Another added: "You forgot to add the word 'pathetic' in front of the word 'group'."

KFC’s latest commercial for its Zinger popcorn box is running during the Big Bash League coverage. Picture: Instagram/vista_200
KFC’s latest commercial for its Zinger popcorn box is running during the Big Bash League coverage. Picture: Instagram/vista_200

In response to the claims, KFC Australia has said the ad wasn't meant to cause any offence, and it apologised to those who were upset.

"We apologise if anyone was offended by our latest commercial," a KFC spokesperson said.

"Our intention was not to stereotype women and young boys in a negative light."



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