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Responsible Marketing

KFC’s shameful attempt at Responsible Marketing

By June 22, 2011July 23rd, 202012 Comments

A Utah KFC’s recent attempt at Responsible Marketing via this hair-brained cause marketing campaign has left us speechless:

KFC - Juvenile Diabetes promotion

That’s right, buy a jug of high fructose corn syrup-powered soda pop—one of the primary causes of diabetes and childhood obesity—and we’ll donate a dollar to juvenile diabetes research.

Our take: absolutely shameful and completely irresponsible. What’s yours?

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Correction: A commentor below has pointed out that the correlation made above is incorrect — that “TYPE 1 and is an autoimmune disease.  TYPE 2 is a metabolic disorder from too much crappy foods.”

So, to be more factually correct, the promotion helps fund research to stop one form of diabetes by having you engage in an activity that causes another.

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. . .

Read Joe Water’s Selfish Giving’s original post on this topic to learn more.

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • I’m not surprised at all!

    This reminds me of the Pink Cigarette ( website advertising electric-cigarettes as an alternative. I still haven’t been able to figure out if it’s real or fake, but it made me shake my head.

  • Wow. That’s pretty blatant. Amazing how people don’t think these things through all the time.

  • Type 1 Mother says:

    Responsible Marketing should look into what JDRF is researching a cure for!! Most people don’t know there are two types of Diabetes!! Type 2 is a metabolic disease often associated with being overweight. However, Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops functioning. Type 1 Diabetes is often referred to as Juvenile Diabetes to which JDRF is researching a cure for. These children did not eat the wrong things, are not overweight and battle daily with keeping their blood sugars in normal range. There is no cure for these children. The have to prick their fingers 6-10 times a day. Take a shot or use an insulin pump to delivery insulin for every food they eat. If they don’t, their bodies will begin to fail and they will die. As a mother of a Type 1 child, I have relied on JDRF for support and am hoping one day there will be a cure for my child. I encourage you to go to JDRF’s website to learn more!

  • Concerned Parent says:

    Actually, the leading cause of childhood obesity is parenting, or lack thereof. Keep the high fructose corn syrup and fried foods away from your kid. In moderation, people! An obese kid with Type 2 diabetes could have been prevented with good parenting. It’s not KFC’s fault!

  • Concerned Parent says:

    And ‘Responsible Marketing’ should do it’s research. Pop is not the leading cause of “Juvenile Diabetes”, because juvenile diabetes is TYPE 1 and is an autoimmune disease. TYPE 2 is a metabolic disorder from too much crappy foods. KFC is actually doing a good thing by supporting JDRF and their research for TYPE 1. Better research would reveal that this is actually a good thing that KFC is doing.

  • Type 1 Mother: Point taken regarding the diabetes types impacted – thank you for the clarification. I’ve made a correction in the post above.

    Now to the real issue at hand: Is supporting the JDRF a good thing for KFC to do? No question. But to do it by encouraging an activity that is unhealthy in so many other ways is still incredibly irresponsible.

  • Concerned Parent: Parenting definitely plays a part, but parents can’t control their kids everywhere they go and keep them from eating unhealthy foods.

    Are you saying it’s not KFC’s fault they approved this promotion? Then whose is it?

    Oh, and yes, I had Type 1 and Type 2 confused so I made a correction in the post. But you said yourself that “TYPE 2 is a metabolic disorder from too much crappy foods.” If soda pop and fried foods aren’t crappy foods, what is?

    You also said “Better research would reveal that this is actually a good thing that KFC is doing.” If you are talking about KFC supporting the JDRF is a good thing – agreed. The intent isn’t being question – it’s the actions.

    “Better research” on my part would have shown that KFC wasn’t encouraging people to buy more of a product that causes one diabetes — just one that causes another.

    “Better research” would reveal nutritional information on menu items that boggle the mind (remember “Double Down”) and animal cruelty allegations by PETA ( that would make any fast food lover shudder.

  • Hey Patrick,
    I’m so glad to “run into you.” It’s been years since I’ve seen you, but so happy to find you.
    I’m with you on this topic. I think there is a great opportunity for a “fast local food” chain on the order of what Subway, Quintos have been trying to do lately. Or the recent change to McD’s happy meals. But seriously, there is definitely some responsibility on the part of the company regarding the “outcome” of consuming their product.

    Now that you bring it up I always get a charge out of the fact that the yearly Holiday “gingerbread house” cookie exhibition in Downtown Seattle – featuring fabulous designs created by amazing architectural firms and baked by skilled bakers – also has the proceeds going to JDRF. I think if JDRF played up the irony and educated the public on type 1 vs type 2 it would be interesting and noteworthy. But right now I really just find it very ironic.

    Anyway I’m glad I found you. Great topic!

  • Jimmy says:

    This is not right.

  • Yafang says:

    It’s a
    good campaign for sugar free food but not this sugar drink, I’ll remember by heart not
    to have too much sugar…

  • Anonymous says:

    My opinion is that KFC should not only donate money to institutions which fight against the consequences of a high consumption of sugar but they should also inform people before they are consuming sweet softdrinks and other unhealthy food. With this marketing campaign KFC lost credibility in every respect.

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