At least one source is reporting the negative reaction created by a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial parodying Mick Fanning’s encounter with a shark has forced the fast food chain to pull the ad. The news came as part of an apology issued by Ogilvy and Mather, South Africa, the advertising agency that produced the TV spot. The apology went as follows:
We recognize that this commercial has offended the Fanning family and the Australian community and for that we sincerely apologize. Along with KFC, we have decided to withdraw the commercial across all channels.
That statement came within days of Fanning’s mother, Elizabeth Osborne, expressing disgust with the commercial. It was said that Osbourne and the WSL were looking into legal action against KFC if the the ad stayed on the air. And whether or not O&M’s decision to pull the commercial was a direct result of that or not wasn’t made clear. In total, the ad ran for 15 days to showcase one of the fast food chain’s limited time promotional menu items in South Africa, so it likely wasn’t intended to become a permanent campaign anyway.