Stupid Ethics Tricks: Buns, Mascots, Mottos and Maher

Advertising Ethics: KFC is marketing its new “Double Down” chicken sandwich by paying college co-eds—who must  meet some secret standard of butt-comeliness—to wear sweat pants with “Double-Down” printed on the seats. The National Organization of Women objects: “It’s so obnoxious to once again be using women’s bodies to sell fundamentally unhealthy products,” says Terry O’Neill, NOW’s president. What an odd comment: is it all right in NOW’s view to use women’s body to sell healthy products? Is O’Neill saying that (not to give KFC any ideas) paying buxom co-eds to wear tight T-shirts advertizing fried chicken breasts would be wrong, but the same campaign for healthy, broiled breasts would be just fine?

I am tempted to say that any ethical condemnation of the “buns as billboards” method is attributable to the “Ick Factor,” not ethics. Continue reading