The Advertising Standards Board has dismissed a complaint against a KFC ad featuring Plucka Duck on the grounds the commercial did not encourage dangerous behaviour.
KFC decided to draw upon the popular character from television show Hey Hey It’s Saturday for its latest “Finger lickn’ good” marketing campaign.
The ad, which has broadcast in Australian cinemas as well as on television, shows Plucka Duck skateboarding down a winding, mountainous road in New Zealand.
Plucka Duck then slows to stop before the words “Life should always be Finger Lickin’ Good” appear on screen.
The Advertising Standards Board examined the ad after receiving a complaint from a disgruntled viewer who thought it encouraged “dangerous” behaviour.
“I am objecting to this ad as Plucka Duck is a human dressed in a costume and I think skateboarding on a road is dangerous where a person can get killed if and when a car comes,” the person wrote.
“The ad may have made it safe for him to do, but youngsters will go out and copy him as he is an icon for them. It is presenting a danger to children and young teenagers alike.”
In response to the complaint, KFC said the ad was accompanied by a disclaimer that said it was filmed under supervised, controlled conditions by a professional stunt performer.
The takeaway chain also rejected suggestions the ad would encourage young people to undertake dangerous or illegal behaviour.
“The visuals of the duck character riding down a hill on a skateboard are deliberately intended to be fanciful, exaggerated and humorous,” KFC said.
“The scenes in the advertisement are so unrealistic that it is highly unlikely that viewers would replicate or mimic Plucka Duck’s actions in real life.”
KFC also pointed out the ad has been given a PG rating and the stuntman was wearing safety gear underneath the duck costume.
As a result, the advertising watchdog dismissed the complaint.
“The board considered … the depiction of a large duck skateboarding is unlikely to encourage people to copy its actions,” the advertising watchdog ruled.
“Plucka appears to be confident and in control of the skateboard at all times.”