FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris said the settlement "signals food advertisers that
In a statement, KFC said, "We have always believed our ads to be truthful and factually accurate. We're sorry if anyone may have misinterpreted these two ads ... that was never our intent. In order to put this matter behind us, we've entered into an agreement with the FTC without admitting any wrongdoing, and we won't be running these two ads again."
The settlement covered the two-commercial campaign KFC broke Oct. 29 with the tagline "You've gotta KFC what's cookin.' " The ads were the work of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding of Chicago. Yum Brands agreed that KFC would not make future misleading ad claims about the health benefits of its food products.
The controversial ads were pulled in the wake of widespread criticism from the press as well as industry watchdog groups such as the Children's Advertising Review Unit and the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Both said the ads were inaccurate and conveyed a misleading message about the nutritional qualities of fried chicken.
Today's settlement bars the fast-food marketer from claiming that eating its fried chicken is better for a consumer's health than eating a Burger King Whopper, or that its fried chicken is compatible with "low carbohydrate" weight-loss programs, unless it substantiates the claim with competent and reliable evidence, including scientific evidence when appropriate.
It also prohibits KFC from making any other claim about the amount of fat or other nutrients in its chicken products.