KFC: Madden brothers told us they were never vegetarians; Benji: I’m not any more

KFC Madden Bros

KFC’s new front men – including former vegetarian Benji Madden

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.”

But Madden tweeted: “Haven’t been Veg for yrs, un-affiliated myself w PETA.”

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.


  1. Reader
    29 Nov 12
    7:20 pm

  2. That’s weird. Only last month he was on the Good Charlotte chatboard telling people he was a devout vegetarian which kept him healthy. Ouch.

  3. Dannyboi
    29 Nov 12
    10:16 pm

  4. His affiliation with PETA was only while it was hip and topical.

  5. Hoin
    30 Nov 12
    4:37 am

  6. Just goes to prove that vegetarians have no scruples and no brains.

  7. Bob
    30 Nov 12
    8:46 am

  8. KFC should put their money into getting rid of their crappy wing tip pieces. Seriously, that’s not a piece of chicken – it’s a bone with a few bits of fried bread crumbs.

  9. Frustrated
    30 Nov 12
    11:38 am

  10. So what’s the issue..
    One of them used to be a vegetarian…and now he isn’t. What are we saying…people can’t change their their POV and move on? From what I can see…we’re talking about beliefs and actions almost 10 years on?

  11. Michael Cromer
    30 Nov 12
    11:58 am

  12. The new campaign
    Benji: “this chicken is so much tastier than tofu”

  13. From the sidelines
    30 Nov 12
    12:02 pm

  14. Nice one Bob…tackling the big issues of the day….

  15. Mac
    30 Nov 12
    12:06 pm

  16. Looks like Good Charlotte have have even protested against KFC in the past. Hmm, background check anyone..


  17. Tony Jaques
    30 Nov 12
    12:06 pm

  18. One term I hate with a passion is “spin”. But this has spin written all over it.

  19. Mel
    30 Nov 12
    12:46 pm

  20. @Mac, there’s actually only one Good Charlotte member in that picture. Can’t really tar the whole band with that brush based on that image.

  21. lifestyles of the rich and famous
    30 Nov 12
    12:59 pm

  22. It’s humble pie the Maddens should be eating, not KFC. Where’s their credibility? People will do anything for money. A crying shame. But as they say: lifestyles of the rich and the famous.

  23. who-me?
    30 Nov 12
    3:00 pm

  24. Cue 1 ADD slackivist.
    KFC should not be perturbed. This flip-flop “click-here to show you care” anti-consumerism pretentiousness fits perfectly with the FB on-line 24/7 gen being targetted. They wont give a fat-fried chip’s worth about this whole two-minute branding “crisis”. This same gen will tell you they despise factory farming and animal cruelty of any kind – while simultaneously gulping down their burgers, fries and shakes. Evolution over the last 25-years has removed cognitive dissonance from their neural pathways.

  25. Music Snob
    30 Nov 12
    6:58 pm

  26. The real issue is why KFC is using has-been bands like Good Charlotte – The Voice and now KFC, oooh how hardcore…the last relevant thing a Madden ever did was father Nicole Richies spawn.

  27. The campaign always sucked
    1 Dec 12
    12:12 pm

  28. Crap campaign just got a whole lot of nasty… Good Charlotte and KFC both lose credibility, Good Charlotte for being sell outs in every sense of the word,including their ethics,and KFC for highlighting their cruelty to animals.

    Whoever the ad agency is should be put on notice, a simple google would have fixed this. However, the campaign is so unimaginative I’m wondering if Good Charlotte were shopped to KFC by their talent broker or channel 9s sales team.

  29. Real Meat Eater
    2 Dec 12
    11:10 am

  30. You mean to say there is meat in KFC? I thought it was just full of processed, steroid induced, antibiotics fed, mutant chickeney fodderey stuff?

    Just buy a whole organic chicken, shove a beer can up it’s ar53 and away you go!

  31. Jim
    2 Dec 12
    6:19 pm

  32. I think Chris Rock said it best: “Good Charlotte? More like bad Green Day.”

  33. I thought they were nice boys
    2 Dec 12
    6:21 pm

  34. But I guess not. Just unprincipled, unethical liars who will do anything for a buck. Sucks to be them.

  35. maxe
    8 Dec 12
    2:04 pm

  36. Just the usual bunch of over paid sellout clowns trying to make something as ddisgusting as a double chicken roll burger seem trendy.

    They come across as corporate prostitutes to me.