[Forbes, Getty Images]
It’s not known how many people actually do lick their fingers after eating Kentucky Fried Chicken, but for now the company is saying, simply, “Don’t.”
This week KFC, part of the Yum Brands! group of fast food brands, said it was temporarily dropping its iconic “It’s finger licking good” slogan from its advertising in light of pandemic safety concerns regarding bringing your hands into contact with your mouth.
“We find ourselves in a unique situation — having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment,” Catherine Tan-Gillespie, the company’s global chief marketing officer, said in a statement. According to an AP story, KFC called its tagline “the most inappropriate slogan for 2020.”
And while the slogan, which the company has used for 64 years, will be dropped for the remainder of the year, it “will be back…just when the time is right.”
Of course, exorcising an advertising slogan is easier said than done. While it can be dropped from current ads, the finger-licking wording appears throughout KFC’s packaging and in its restaurant signage. Indeed, “Finger licking good” still appears on the company’s website in a section describing the cooking process developed by Colonel Harland Sanders with, lest we forget, 11 herbs and spices.
For KFC, a company that is now marketing fried-chicken-scented Crocs footwear and any number of other weird product tie-ins, it seems to be a moment of social correctness, which is consistent with its recent efforts to address social issues such as financially supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and providing meals to teachers returning to school classrooms.
But in the meantime, there will be no licking of fingers—no matter how good they might taste.
By Warren Shoulberg