KFC: Madden brothers told us they were never vegetarians; Benji: I’m not any more
KFC and its new brand ambassador Benji Madden have issued conflicting statements after his vegetarian links emerged the day after he launched the brand’s summer campaign.
At about the same time that Madden tweeted that he had cut links with animal rights organisation PETA and was no longer a vegetarian, KFC issued a statement saying he had told them he had never been one or been involved with PETA.
The short statement from KFC issued to Mumbrella regarding Benji and Joel Madden said:
“Prior to entering into our agreement, they advised us they have not been PETA activists or vegetarians, as they have expressed directly on Twitter. We’re delighted to be working with them on this exciting and unique campaign.”
PETA has long been campaigning against KFC claiming it maltreats chickens.
Madden and his brother Joel are fronting KFC’s new summer ‘Good Times’ campaign. But it then emerged in a YouTube video from 2009 that Benji Madden said he was a vegetarian. PETA claims their band Good Charlotte has attended anti-KFC rallies.
None of the agencies involved in the campaign – which was six months in the works – would comment on whether they knew if Madden was, now or ever, a vegetarian or a PETA supporter.
Ogilvy Sydney, KFC’s creative agency, said that it “supports its client’s statement”, and simply repeated KFC’s statement. MediaCom avoided the question and referred Mumbrella to KFC’s PR team.
PR agency Edelman, branded entertainment firm Ensemble and record label EMI Music did not respond at all.
The row will also be a worrying one for Nine. Joel Madden is one of the coaches on The Voice.