KFC says sorry for Kristallnacht chicken & cheese promotion

In this age of social media pile-ons, brands tend to be over-cautious about upsetting people, but it’s alarming how regularly they still seem to forget their heads entirely.

Someone at KFC Germany thought it was a good idea to mark the 9th November anniversary of Kristallnacht – in which Nazi paramilitaries unleashed a series of attacks on Germany’s Jewish population – with a special offer on fried chicken and cheese.

The message read, “Commemoration of Kristallnacht – treat yourself to more soft cheese and crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!”

KFC is blaming a system error for the beyond offensive message, but there’s been a human error somewhere along the way. The incident brutally exposes the limits of automation: apparently the fast food chain’s computer system has a push notification linked to notable days in the national calendar.


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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.