Fast food chain KFC has been slammed by critics for a sexually suggestive picture it ran on social media this week in Australia. Carrying the tag NSFW — the Internet shorthand for “not safe for work” — the ad featured a man and a woman engaged in physical contact on a couch.

While the post was pulled after just an hour the debate lives on — with the Brand Newsroom team this week deeply divided over the ad’s rights and wrongs. It’s a real bun-fight. Have a listen:


Here are some key take-outs:

  •  It’s a cheap stunt — will it actually help sell any chicken?

“This is not a strategy, this is a PR stunt. Let me be very clear, I recognise this for what it is. But here’s the thing: Can’t they do a better job? This is so boring. It’s tired. We’re going down to ‘sex sells’.” — Sarah

  •  This decision was made at the highest level. The ad was never meant to last for more than an hour. Apologising for it, saying you didn’t know it was going to offend, is disingenuous. And that affects trust in the brand.

“I tested this with my wife and friends and everyone had heard about and while they said it didn’t upset them or make them want to go and buy more chicken, they did all know that Hot and Spicy was coming back.” — Nic

  •  Every brand wants something that will go viral but is this the kind of message you want linked to you brand.

“If this works other brands will certainly look at that as something they would want to consider.” — James

Here are the links you might need

  • Here’s an article about the KFC controversy.
  • Here’s the last podcast about Sex in Advertising, mentioned by Nic:


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The fact that print media is on the decline is not an exclusive news story. Neither is the fact those working in media organizations are being stretched thin. The result? It has never been harder to get your press release seen and turned into media coverage.

At the same time as media outlets are reducing their workforces they are amplifying their voice by diversifying their publications and increasing the number of publishing platforms. What we are reading in print has already been published online, what we are reading online will soon be discussed on air.

So how do you best reach these media outlets? How do you separate your story from others, and convince a journalist to spend what little time they have on your press release?

After attending Media Stable’s ‘Meet the Media’ event this week, Sarah Mitchell and James Lush share their knowledge on getting as much mileage as possible out of a press release.

They discuss where media outlets are today and why it is so important to cut your own path.

 “If the pack is going left, then you go right, otherwise you will get culled with the other 4,999 just because you’re in that pack!” James says.

James and Sarah share several tips on how to set your pitch apart. We hear about the tight deadlines in journailism and what people working at media outlets want from you — and what will turn them away.

“Every single journalist [at Meet the Media] said ‘what you need to do is be short, sharp, punchy with the pitch’. Brevity is the soul of wit,” says Sarah.

This week, after attending the 21st birthday celebration of prominent global advertising agency M&C Saatchi in Sydney, an article was published by the Mumbrella editorial team outing the agency for what they felt was inappropriate conduct. In the article, the team reported entertainment such as women bursting out of cakes, and burlesque dancers dressed in bondage lingerie performing with bags over their heads.

In this episode the Brand Newsroom team are joined by Tim Burrowes, Content Director of Mumbrella to discuss what this means for the marketing and advertising industry. According to the team, this event is a merely symptom of a larger problem of gender in the space.