The face of US President Barack Obama has been showing up in unexpected Beijing neighborhoods. Shanghaiist translates the Chinese slogan:
The sign on the shop fittingly reads 吹牛逼呢吧, or “We’re so niubi, aren’t we?”
A Washington Post blog post reports the following statement from a KFC spokesperson:
“We’re considering legal action as it is a knock-off and has nothing to do with us and it infringes on our brand trademark,” the statement said. “We find it distasteful.”
Despite judgement calls of taste, KFC’s parent corporation is still profiting from the Chinese market. From the NZ Herald:
Yum Brands, owner of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC chains, reported yesterday that its third-quarter profit grew thanks to strong sales in China and elsewhere overseas that offset another sluggish showing in the US.
Yum said it added 138 restaurants in China during the quarter, and is on track to open a record 600 new units there this year.
Operating profit in China was up in the single digits, adjusted for currency fluctuations, as the company faced rising commodity and labour costs.
In Yum’s international division, operating profit rose 3 per cent, adjusted for currency fluctuations. And its franchise fees are on pace for a record year of more than US$850 million ($1.1 billion) in the division, which excludes China.
But in the US, operating profit fell 16 per cent and sales dropped at its three main brands.
This is not the first time that Barack Obama’s name has been used to sell chicken in Chinese markets. See the following KFC commercial that aired in Hong Kong earlier this year.