Australian surfing champ Mick Fanning and his family are upset about a new commercial released by KFC South Africa that spoofs his recent scary experience with a shark.
KFC South Africa has produced a new commercial that basically makes a joke out of the terrifying experience Australian surfing champion Mick Fanning had recently with a great white shark. While the commercial is, admittedly, rather funny, Fanning and his family are not amused.
The Inquisitr reported the story of how Fanning, 34, was attacked by a great white shark off the coast of Jeffreys Bay in South Africa during the J-Bay Open surfing competition in July of this year. The whole thing was broadcast on live television as Fanning hits and fends off the great white shark, thus surviving what could have been a far worse situation.
Fanning has since started competing in surfing competitions again and even had a second close encounter with a shark off the New South Wales coast in Australia.
— Mashable (@mashable) October 19, 2015
Surviving two terrifying experiences with great white sharks is quite a feat in itself and obviously tremendously scary, so when he spotted the KFC South Africa ad spoofing his first experience with a great white shark, he was understandably upset. His mother was even more upset, as she had witnessed the shark attack first hand, and anyone who is a parent can totally understand how she feels. On seeing the commercial produced by KFC South Africa, the whole family is now outraged.
South Africa is renowned for controversial and humorous commercials in the fast food field, with Nando’s, the spicy chicken franchise, always tempting fate and people’s nerves when they release their latest ads. Now KFC South Africa is, apparently, trying to keep up with Nando’s in an effort to attract particularly younger South Africans to their tasty chicken offerings.
As reported by Iafrica, the latest ad, while using a different name for the surfer, is clearly a spoof of Mick Fanning’s terrifying encounter with a great white shark. In the video, we see a daring surfer, riding the waves while twirling an enormous computer-generated shark above his head to promote a new offering in the KFC product line in South Africa.
According to Mick Fanning’s mother, Elizabeth Osborne, the commercial is extremely disrespectful of her son’s ordeal. In fact, she feels the controversial footage is likely to upset anyone who has experienced an attack by a great white or any other type of shark.
“They’ve put a lookalike in the video. It really brings back a lot of trauma for everybody who has been attacked by a shark.
“Some families have had fatalities and some people are still absolutely scarred without limbs. It’s disrespectful to them and Mick is not at all happy with that.”
Adweek quotes Osborne as saying that it is not only her family that is outraged by the commercial and that the World Surf League is apparently getting ready to take legal action against KFC South Africa in order to cut short the new advertising campaign.
Mick Fanning’s mum slams KFC ad spoof of shark attack https://t.co/1miLmnsf2x
— Neko (@Oz_catness) October 19, 2015
When KFC Australia were approached about the new commercial, they were also not too happy and stressed that they would never produce advertising of such a controversial nature. They further stressed that KFC Australia is very sensitive to this kind of situation and that they would never show this particular commercial in that country.
“The advertisement has been produced in South Africa. KFC Australia is very sensitive to the situation in Australia and this is not the type of ad we would choose to show here.”
As a reminder of the actual great white shark attack on Mick Fanning and his remarkable reaction to it, a video of the original incident is included below.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]