Monday, June 20, 2011

KFC redefines Irony

Kentucky Fried Chicken (or apparently now officially called KFC) has, on numerous occasions attempted to feign being health-conscious.  When Atkins was the hot thing, they did a commercial campaign featuring dramatizations which made it appear as if eating deep-fried chicken was the path to miraculous weight loss.  Well, I suppose one could grant that it is low-carb.  More recently, they tried to revive their grilled chicken product (which actually proved something of a commercial failure before) through a comparatively smarter advertising campaign.  Now, they've shown they're committed to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.  How?  By helping to cause it!

Read --

So...  $1 gets donated to finding the cure for juvenile diabetes whenever you buy a 64 oz drink...  a friggin' half gallon of sugar-water.  A drink size that is apparently so large (with free refills!) that the cup features a bucket handle.  Now, just to be fair, if you look at the actual charity project being funded here, it's one that deals with Type 1 diabetes, which is actually genetic and not connected to drinking too many sugary sodas.  But it is rather ironic that the cure for Type 1 diabetes is funded by a promotion that helps to increase the incidence of Type 2 among the populace.  Sure, people could order a diet soft drink instead of a full-sugar one, but at any given fast food location, the options are generally slimmer pickings for sugar-free drinks (this is aside from the fact that there are correlations between non-nutritive sweeteners and Type 2 diabetes as well, though no causal link has been established).  Either way, you're going to have people who fill up regular not-so-sugar-free Pepsi or Sierra Mist or Mountain Dew, and that will certainly not do anyone any good.

I can perhaps grant that KFC outweighed the profitability and/or sellability of the promotion over the sensibility of it...  but what I have to wonder is how did the JDRF ever agree to such a promotion in the first place?  Whatever particular track of their support is being funded by it, they're the ones who ought to know better than to sell sugar to help cure diabetes.  You might as well have Diageo host cocktail parties to support MADD.

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe it's part of a larger scheme to help put the spurs on the research into diabetes by providing the medical community with so many more test subjects that they'll basically never run out of test cases.  Maybe they want to make the sample population so large that you can even identify statistically significant trends in a single study.  A cure is on its way, friends!  Just drink gallons of Pepsi, and don't forget your extra-crispy double-pressure-fried chicken!