A Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) TV advert was been banned by the ASA for misleading customers over potential discounts.
A voice over accompanying the advert for a fried chicken meal stated: “The new KFC Family Burger Box – a choice of four fillet or zinger burgers, large popcorn chicken and fries. Feed the family and save a fiver – just £14.99.” The advert also contained the text message: “Item shown £20.51 if bought individually. Prices may vary.”
The customer complained the advert was misleading because she had been unable buy the product for the stated price.
In its defence, KFC said “prices may vary” referred to the àla carte menu pricing of individual items, the price of the Family Burger Box and the exact saving made between those two prices.
Instead of its usual message “price may vary”, the retailer has used the word “prices” in order to make it clear this referred to all prices quoted in the ad.
The number of restaurants that sold the meal at a higher price was said to account for about 15 out of 850 stores nationally, KFC claimed.
The firm said it kept a record of the price range on the Family Burger Box within their system (£14.99‒£16.99). The adjusted individual menu prices meant that the saving was always over £5, as its advert claimed, it argued.
However, despite agreeing that most KFC restaurants sold the Family Burger Box at the price quoted in the advert, and that the saving in all stores was over £5, the ASA ruled the advert was not clear enough.
“We concluded that it was not sufficiently clear that ‘prices may vary’ referred to all prices quoted in the advert,” the ASA added.