PETA Tells Advertising Standards Authority That Complaint Against Truthful Anti-Kfc Leaflet Can’T Stand

For Immediate Release:
23 April 2008

Bruce Friedrich 020 7357 9229, ext 224; [email protected]
Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – This morning, PETA dispatched a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), defending the content of a graphic informational leaflet that is currently distributed as part of the group’s campaign against KFC. PETA’s response comes on the heels of a complaint received by the ASA, which has launched a formal investigation and is asking PETA to defend the leaflet against the charge that it is offensive.

Publicly campaigning against KFC since 2003, PETA has passed out tens of thousands of copies of the leaflet in question, which uses a cartoon caricature of Colonel Sanders and photographs of abused chickens to depict the cruelty inflicted on birds killed for KFC. In the letter, PETA points out that this is the first complaint it has ever received about the leaflet, which indicates that it is not offensive to the vast majority of people who read it. The group goes on to state that the leaflet is truthful, socially responsible and provides information that consumers want and need to know about how KFC abuses chickens. The leaflet is especially relevant in light of Co-op’s recent poll of UK consumers – the largest poll of consumer ethics ever conducted – in which 21 per cent of those surveyed ranked animal welfare as their top concern. Animal welfare outranked both global climate change and fair trade.

The roughly 1 billion chickens killed each year for KFC are tortured in ways that would result in cruelty-to-animals charges if other animals were the victims. The chickens are bred and drugged to grow so large that many become crippled from the weight of their massive upper bodies. Their throats are cut while they are still conscious, and many chickens are scalded to death in tanks of hot water meant to remove their feathers. KFC’s own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so. Five of the company’s advisors have now resigned in frustration.

“As an animal protection group, it is our duty to share uncomfortable information about animal abuse with the buying public”, writes PETA Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk. “Faulting PETA for giving people a glimpse into how chickens end up in the KFC bucket or box would be like faulting the police for showing people how to spot a fraud.”

A copy of PETA’s letter to the ASA is available upon request. For more information, please visit