Ad description

A TV ad, for KFC, featured a woman gesturing towards a KFC bucket meal and stating "This was a bargain, a bucket of chicken and fries for under a tenner". At the end of the ad on-screen text stated "Prices may vary" while a voice-over shouted "bargain bucket" and graphics appeared which stated "Bargain Bucket 9.99".


Two complainants challenged whether the ad was misleading, because they believed the on-screen text contradicted the price claims.


Kentucky Fried Chicken (Great Britain) Ltd t/a KFC said their bargain bucket was priced at £9.99, but a select number of stores did sometimes charge higher fees for their products. KFC explained it was a small minority of stores which sold the product at a higher price, specifically two out of 850 stores nationally. They believed the ad was not misleading, because over 99% of restaurants charged £9.99 and the on-screen text which stated "Prices may vary", covered the remaining 0.2% of restaurants. KFC believed the qualification text "Prices may vary" was not a contradiction to the claim that a bargain bucket was priced at £9.99 in over 99% of stores.

Clearcast said they did not believe the on-screen text contradicted the claim that the bargain bucket was priced at £9.99. They explained that the price claim did not state or imply that all restaurants sold the product for £9.99 and they believed the on-screen text qualified the pricing claim and made it clear that prices varied at some KFC restaurants.


Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that sufficiently prominent on-screen text stated "Prices may vary" and qualified the price claim in the ad. We considered that the qualification text made it clear that prices for the bargain bucket at some KFC restaurants may have varied from the price quoted in the ad. Furthermore, we acknowledged that over 99% of KFC restaurants charged the price quoted in the ad. Because the qualification text made it clear prices may vary and only a very small minority of KFC restaurants deviated from the quoted price in the ad, we considered that the qualification text did not contradict the price claim. We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.    3.2 3.2 Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means.
 (Misleading advertising),  3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  (Qualification) and  3.18 3.18 Price statements must not mislead by omission, undue emphasis or distortion. They must relate to the product or service depicted in the advertisement.  (Prices), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.


3.1     3.10     3.18     3.2    

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