Fast food brand KFC may have unintentionally ended a public campaign aimed at getting one of pop star Taylor Swift’s songs voted in to radio station Triple J’s Hottest 100.
It appears a Facebook posting by the chicken restaurant could be used by the ABC to rule the artist and her song Shake It Off ineligible for the publicly voted music list, after it used Swift’s image and the #tay4hottest100 hashtag coined by campaigners.
Competition rules state: “Triple J reserves the right to remove artists from the list who have benefited from competitions or commercial campaigns that incentivise fans to vote for them.”
Former Triple J presenter Angela Catterns said yesterday on The Drum that Swift and the public hashtag campaign #tay4hottest100 had been ruled ineligible due to KFC’s involvement.
“You probably know that there was a push to get a Taylor Swift song in [the Hottest 100], which has now been disqualified because a fast food chain became involved in the whole process”, Catterns said on the program (23.30 minutes in).
Asked to confirm whether Taylor Swift and her song Shake it Off were still eligible for the Hottest 100, which is announced on Australia Day on Monday, an ABC spokesman was coy.
“We have no comment at this stage other than to say an announcement will be made in due course”, said the spokesman.
Comment is also being sought from KFC. The fast food chain’s #tay4hottest100 Facebook ad, which uses a photoshopped image of Swift, declares “The #tay4hottest100 campaign is going strong and she’s got our vote”.
“Tell us which Taylor song is your favourite for your chance to win a voucher for $19.89!”
KFC has also been asked whether it licenced the image of Swift before posting the ad.
The #tay4hottest100 campaign was originally started by Buzzfeed News reporter Mark Di Stefano last week drawing a mixed response from social media fans, with some loving the campaign and others critical about the prospect of a song which had not been played on Triple J being voted onto the list.
Update 7.34pm: KFC says it has deleted the Taylor Swift post and that it did not intend to influence the voting in the Hottest 100. The company did not address whether it had licenced the image of Swift which it used.
“We know many of our fans are music lovers and our recent post has caused a bit of a stir so to avoid any more confusion we have removed the post,” said a KFC spokeswoman.
“The post simply asked our fans to tell us what their favourite Taylor Swift song was for the opportunity to win a voucher, we were not incentivising people to vote for the Hottest 100.”