KFC’s position on Joel and Benji Madden’s past connections to vegetarianism and animal rights group PETA appears to have changed again, with the brand now saying it was only assured that the Good Charlotte members were not “currently” involved.
Last week, when Mumbrella revealed that the duo were fronting a new summer campaign for the chicken brand, a 2009 video quickly emerged of an interview with Benji Madden speaking about his conversion to vegetarianism.
He then tweeted that he hadn’t been vegetarian “for years” and that he had un-affiliated himself from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
His tweet appeared to contradict a statement to Mumbrella issued at the same time by KFC:
“Prior to entering into our agreement, they advised us they have not been PETA activists or vegetarians.”
However, today’s Australian Financial Review contains a new comment from KFC:
“During our discussions with their management, we were advised that neither Joel or Benji are currently vegetarians or are associated with PETA.”
The Good Times campaign was masterminded by brand integration agency Ensemble. At the time, Ensemble MD Justin Ricketts said in a statement to Mumbrella: “This is possibly one of the biggest and best examples of a music collaboration I’ve ever seen or experienced in this market. It has been at the least six months in the making and a daily process of working to understand what KFC want to achieve and how the Maddens can help them do that. It has been a true collaboration between multiple agencies led by Ensemble Branded Entertainment. Working with Ensemble we have managed to develop a great relationship between the two, whereby KFC have allowed Benji and Joel to freely express themselves creatively throughout this campaign.
“At Ensemble – we are constantly striving to find new and engaging ways to connect brands with consumers – and this is certainly one of the campaigns that we’ve both proud and privileged to be have been part of.”
“It’s a very bold and ambitious campaign that has genuinely pushed the boundaries around how brands can truly partner with established artists to create genuine intrigue and engagement with consumers within a market where consumers can easily avoid traditional communications.”
Along with Ensemble, EMI, Ogilvy, Mediacom and Edelman were involved in the collaboration.
Joel Madden is also one of the coaches on Nine’s talent show The Voice.