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KFC’s 9-piece chicken, free chips for R149.90 ad misleading, says regulator



KFC's 9-piece chicken

A KFC advert was found to be misleading by the Advertising Regulatory Board after it promised customers a nine-piece bucket for R149.90 with free large chips.

One complainant found when he added the item to his cart on the website, it cost the full price of R174, and not what was promised.

The ad watchdog found the KFC ad misleading and ordered its immediate amendment.


South Africa’s ad regulator found a KFC advert to be misleading after the restaurant’s website promised customers a nine-piece bucket with free chips for R149.90.

But after adding the item to his cart, one unhappy customer found they had to pay the full amount of R174.

According to the complainant, the nine-piece bucket with free chips appeared on KFC’s website for R149.90, but when trying to add the item to his cart, the complainant received a text saying “GPS error” while the browser was not blocked.


This led customers to log in to the website and then return to the online exclusive deals page, where the price changed to R174.

Essentially, there was a price difference between when a customer was logged in and logged out.

KFC's 9-piece chicken

KFC’s 9-piece chicken

The complainant said he, along with other people, experienced other issues.

After reporting them to KFC, customers were told to submit their details privately to avoid addressing the matter publicly.

“He alleged that the advertiser does this to stop the conversation in public, and then received a copy-paste response from the advertiser saying it was a technical difficulty, but he claimed that it was not,” the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) said.


Another issue reported by the complainant includes a Monday promotion where the same nine-piece retails for R87.54 (R50% off), as advertised on the website.

However, after adding the item to his cart and logging in to pay, the complainant said it disappeared from the cart and was only available at the original price.


KFC response

In its defence, KFC said the advert was not misleading and prices customers saw on the website before selecting a store would be what the outlet referred to as “click and collect prices”.

These are prices for items collected at the establishment and not those to be delivered.

Price changes, according to KFC, applied to items being delivered.

It also confirmed every Monday, there was a nine-piece bucket special for R87.45 which was available for both click and collect and delivery.

In attempts to address the issue of items that disappear from customers’ carts and are therefore unavailable for purchase, the fast-food giant said products sold out were greyed out to eliminate confusion.

ARB ruling

The directorate of the ARB visited the website to try and order the Monday promotion.

It found the item was available for purchase and might have disappeared from the complainant’s cart because he had selected to collect the order instead of having it delivered.

With regards to the nine pieces with free chips for R149.90 advert, the directorate found an issue with the fact KFC failed to properly disclose the reduced price only applied for click and collect and not for delivery, which costs an additional R25.

Although the explanation has been provided to the ARB, the fast-food company still does not clarify this to customers online.

“If the R25 delivery fee is included in the price of R174.90 [which the advertiser has stated it is], then it is misleading to state in the cart that there is ‘free delivery’.

“As far as the directorate understands it, delivery is not free and at best, the advertisement is therefore ambiguous and misleading,” said the ARB.

Therefore, the ad watchdog found the advert misleading and ordered KFC to amend its advert immediately.

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