KFC Runs Out of Chicken in UK, Apologizes with Clever Adverts and Timely Content

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New Rules of Marketing and PR  |  Case Studies  |  Newsjacking

KFC FCKIt’s a #KFCCrisis. A chicken restaurant without any chicken! KFC in the UK changed logistics companies and the new provider fouled up the fowl deliveries. FCK! But the company has done a wonderful job communicating on social networks and via advertisements.

In UK newspapers, the company ran full page advertisements cleverly changing the KFC logo on a chicken bucket to FCK. The ads read:

“We're sorry. A chicken restaurant without any chicken. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It's been a hell of a week, but we're making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.”

When a crisis hits, speed, agility, and transparency are key

KFC one job

KFC created a site at the clever kfc.co.uk/crossed-the-road URL to provide a list of all UK restaurants and the chicken status of each. They’re also offering rewards to people affected via the company smartphone app.

On social media, the company was constantly providing updates, many with the fun approach of the ads.

Based on what’s going down on social media, KFC has done a good job handling this crisis. They were quick to communicate, they were transparent in telling customers what was happening, and they did so in a fun way.

And, of course, other fast food companies jumped into the fray with a little friendly newsjacking.


When the crisis hits, speed and agility along with truthfulness and transparency wins the day.

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