A Chicken Dancing to DMX Was the U.K.’s Most Offensive Ad of 2017
It wasn’t the choice of music that upset British television viewers…
Most people would probably consider a television commercial featuring a live chicken dancing to DMX’s 2003 hit “X Gon' Give It To Ya” to be silly… maybe even tasteless. But downright offensive? Turns out, according to statistics from the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a KFC ad with that exact content was the most complained about television commercial in the country for 2017.
In actuality, it wasn’t the song’s language or even DMX’s gravelly voice that was the source of viewers’ dissent. Instead, the ASA said that the 60-second spot, which was called “The Whole Chicken,” led to complaints because it was “disrespectful to chickens and distressing for vegetarians, vegans and children,” according to The Guardian. The ad reportedly racked up 755 complaints, 300 more complaints than the second most offensive ad, a spot from price comparison site MoneySuperMarket featuring men dancing in high heels and jean shorts.
Though KFC’s “The Whole Chicken” ad was intended to hammer home the idea that the fast food brand uses “nothing but the chicken,” some viewers believe it inappropriately showed a chicken dancing its way to the slaughter. However, despite the bevy of complaints, in the end, the ASA chose not to ban or censor the ad, saying that it didn’t find that commercial contained any explicit references to animal slaughter.
“2017 again showed that it is ads that have the potential to offend that attract the highest numbers of complaints,” Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA, was quoted as saying. “But multiple complaints don’t necessarily mean that an ad has fallen on the wrong side of the line. We look carefully at the audience, the context and prevailing societal standards informed by public research before we decide.”
Meanwhile, DMX is probably just happy that people are still talking about his music.