KFC's strategy to counter TiVo users who skip commercials suffered the equivalent of bird flu Wednesday when it was rejected by ABC. KFC had planned to run a secret message in a chicken sandwich ad on the network that could only be seen if it was played back slowly. The message described how to get the sandwich free. The message could not be seen when the ad was played at normal speed. But ABC said it can concluded that the commercial amounted to subliminal advertising and therefore violated ABC's policies. KFC denied that the ad was anything of the sort, noting that the intent of subliminal advertising was to elicit a subconscious response. The ad has already been running on other networks, and KFC said that 70,000 people have already discovered the message and applied online for the free sandwich coupons. In an interview with the Associated Press, Jamie King, an exec at ad agency Publicis & Hal Riney, said that he was surprised by ABC's action. "I would think the networks would look to partner and encourage experimentation with techniques that involve the viewer and discourage them to skip the commercials," he said.




02/03/2006