The story: A KFC franchise in Utah is asking customers to help fight diabetes — by purchasing an 800-calorie Mega Jug of sugary soda to wash down their meals. For every $2.99 half-gallon drink it sells, the chicken restaurant promises to give $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The promotion has drawn criticism from anti-obesity activists, who still haven't forgiven KFC for last year's unveiling of the Double Down sandwich, which ensconces bacon and cheese between two fried chicken breasts. But Gary Feit, a JDRF spokesman, is defending KFC, pointing out that the Type 1 diabetes his organization researches is not caused by diet or obesity. Besides, he adds, only one franchise is involved.
The reaction: It's hard to imagine what KFC was thinking, says Joe Waters at Selfish Giving. Although after "the dreadful Double Down," it's no surprise these folks have "deep fried their reputation again." Give this franchise owner credit for wanting to do some good, says Jenn Savedge at Mother Nature Network. But why not tie the promotion to something healthier like, say, grilled chicken? Trying to link a drink with 56 spoonfuls of sugar to a health cause has to qualify as one of the biggest PR misfires ever. Well, they say laughter is the best medicine, says Kat Hannaford at Gizmodo, and I "can't...stop *wheeze* laughing...at...the...cruel *big breath* irony of it all."