The UK ad campaign has been shelved amid Coronavirus-inspired consumer complaints.

By Tim Nelson
Updated March 12, 2020

If you’ve seen any advertising from KFC in the past, you’re probably familiar with their “finger lickin’ good” slogan. In normal times, that would suggest that KFC tastes so great of it that you want to just hold on to all of the flavor you possibly can. Unfortunately, the idea of licking your fingers sends quite a different message amid the spread of a global pandemic.

Amid COVID-19 concerns, KFC UK has suspended a current ad campaign that really goes all-in on the idea that their chicken makes you want to not only touch your face, but in fact lick your fingers. According to The Drum, the decision was made after more than 163 people filed a complaint to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, citing the fact that licking your fingers is pretty much the last thing anyone should be doing right now.

The advert in question? Yeah, it’s pretty much entirely just people liking their fingers.

To their credit, KFC knows that now isn’t the best time to be pushing this sort of messaging. “It doesn’t feel like the right time to be airing this campaign, so we’ve decided to pause it for now – but we’re really proud of it and look forward to bringing it back at a later date," a KFC spokesperson told The Drum.

Presumably, KFC UK is also putting a pause on its contest to find a professional “finger licker” who would have the chance to have their photo appear in KFC restaurants and on a billboard, since 15 minutes of fame is probably not worth the risk of spreading an infectious and potentially deadly disease.

So, yes. It’s worth noting that you can absolutely still eat KFC (at least as long as they stay open), you should probably just not touch your face and wash your hands before and after you do it. The finger licking can wait until the moment of crisis is over.