‘Dangerous’ skateboarding Plucka Duck ad cleared by ASB

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 29 February 2016

KFC’s Plucka Duck ad starring the Australian television character from the 90’s Australian television show ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’, has scored a raft of complaints about its dangerous nature.

The spot features Plucka Duck skateboarding down winding mountain roads in New Zealand, set to punk music song ‘Surfin Bird’ and features an on-screen disclaimer,

“Filmed overseas under supervised, controlled conditions on a closed road with a professional stunt performer wearing appropriate safety gear”.

One person who took offence to the commercial wrote to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) sayin it presented "a danger to children and young teenagers".

“I am objecting to this ad as Plucka Duck is a human dressed in a costume and I think skateboarding on a road is dangerous where a person can get killed if and when a car comes. The ad may have made it safe for him to do, but youngsters will go out and copy him as he is an icon for them.”

They added that the spot glorifies a dangerous and illegal practice, which could lead to accidents and possible fatalities if young people imitate Plucka Duck.

“In the ad it is clear that that the activity is being conducted on a closed road but does not make it any less dangerous and at the speeds these skate boarder were traveling at an accident can have terrible consequences," the complainant added.

In response the advertiser said the visual of the duck character riding on a skateboard is deliberately intended to be "fanciful, exaggerated and humorous".

“The overall theme and tone of the advertisement is to focus on Plucka Duck’s physical journey of uninhibited fun and freedom, which is the cornerstone of KFC’s brand message “Life should always be…Finger Lickin’ Good.

“We note that the advertisement has a PG rating and is accordingly screened on television during appropriate hours outside children’s time slots to specifically target an adult audience.”

While the ASB noted it has previously upheld complaints that featured a person not wearing safety equipment when skateboarding, in this case because the ad is unrealistic, it has dismissed the complaint.

“The board noted the overall theme of the advertisement, a skateboarding duck, and considered that the image of a duck riding a skateboard is unrealistic and the tone of the advertisement is laid-back and there is no suggestion of danger, either to Plucka Duck or to other road users or pedestrians.

“The board considered that the depiction of a man dressed as Plucka Duck riding a skateboard without safety equipment does not encourage copycat behaviour and does not breach Community Standards on health and safety.”


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