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KFC Issues A Non-Apology After Criticism Over Sexist Ad

Neer Varshney

Yum! Brands, Inc.'s (NYSE: YUM) fast food brand KFC is facing criticism for exhibiting sexism in a recent advertisement in Australia.

What Happened

In a 15-second long video, a woman can be seen fixing her dress in the reflection of a window mirror of a parked car, apparently believing that the car is empty.

As she's fixing her low-cut top, the car window rolls down, and two boys, seemingly in early teenage years, can be seen staring at her with a smirk on their faces, as another middle-aged woman in the driver's seat gives her a distraught look.

"Ads like this reinforce the false idea that we can't expect better from boys," Melinda Liszewski, a spokeswoman for Collective Shout, the organization that first called KFC on the sexism, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is another manifestation of the 'boys will be boys' trope, hampering our ability to challenge sexist ideas which contribute to harmful behaviour towards women and girls," she added.

What's Next

KFC issued an apology following the outrage, but Collective Shout denounced it as insincere.

"We apologise if anyone was offended by our latest commercial. Our intention was not to stereotype women and young boys in a negative light," KFC said in a statement.

Tagging KFC Australia in a tweet, Collective Shout said that "a sincere apology for your actions and clarity on pulling the ad would be preferable to apologising for other people's reactions."

As of press time, KFC hasn't yet retracted the controversial ad.

Price Action

Yum! Brands' shares last closed 3.17% higher at $105.40 on Friday.

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