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HK Magazine Archive

TVB Gets Fined $150,000 (or 1,162 Bucket Meals) for Indirectly Advertising Fried Chicken

But TVB isn't chickening out from a courtroom battle.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2016, 4:43pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:09pm

Hong Kong’s largest broadcaster TVB is paying the price for indirectly advertising for KFC during its own TV Awards Presentation last year—a price of $150,000, or 1,162 Bucket Meals for 3, at $129 per order. 

During the show broadcast on December 13, boxes of KFC fried chicken were brought out from backstage and handed out to the actors waiting for the announcement of award winners. Everyone on stage passed around the chicken, tucking into it live on air. 

This feasting scene lasted over a minute, during which the event MC Dodo Cheng twice referred to the chicken as “good food.” The logo of the fried chicken giant, which happened to be one of the sponsors for the show, was prominently displayed on the chicken cartons and drinks cups.

This parody video uses footage from the awards ceremony. (Source: Captv Facebook)

The Office of the Communications Authority received 15 complaints alleging indirect advertising during the awards presentation, and on May 24 it fined TVB $150,000 for breaching the relevant provisions of the Generic Codes of Practice on Television Programme Standards and Advertising Standards.

This isn’t the first time the broadcaster has run into trouble for indirect advertising. Last November, pizzas made their way onto screens during TVB’s 48th Anniversary Gala—but the complaints were overruled because the brand logo merely appeared shortly in medium and distant shots.

TVB responded by accusing the watchdog of being “unreasonable and erroneous,” and in a statement released yesterday it says it’s planning to fight the case. “We have for some time requested the CA to review the inconsistent yardstick to no avail.  We therefore have no choice but to seek a court interpretation by way of judicial review,” said a spokesperson.

Still, televised fried chicken munching has a precedent. Take a look at 2013 Korean drama "Let's Eat," in which shots of its characters enjoying food take up most of the screen time. Maybe TVB still has something to learn...