In what may be one of the most ironic and distasteful ad campaigns I think I have ever seen, is the new Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) campaign “Buckets for the cure” where they donate fifty cents per bucket (a pink bucket no less…) toward  breast cancer research via the Susan B. Komen For The Cure Foundation. It reads like a Saturday Night Live skit (and I really thought it was a joke when I first saw it!) but it’s for real.

Buy a bucket of original recipe or grilled, and they donate to the foundation. Let’s start with the basics:

(1)    Obesity- and obesity related diseases- kill more people by far then breast cancer.

(2)    Obesity is linked to breast cancer! (1)

(3)    Fried foods are linked to a variety of cancers.

(4)    Obesity is linked to various cancers (2)

Do I really need to go on? Really? What’s next, BigMacs for curing colon cancer? I can see why KFC would jump at this PR opportunity, but the people at Susan B. Komen For The Cure Foundation should have their heads examined. This is where the end does not justify the means. There’s very few things one can eat less healthy then KFC original recipe (or does anyone think it’s the grilled chicken everyone  is buying because of all those health conscious people known to eat at KFC…)

As a person who has had cancer, I consider this as bad an idea, as insulting an idea, as dumb an idea, as I think I have ever seen. It’s a slap in the face to women who have had breast cancer as far as I am concerned, and I hope those women out there will let it be known selling unhealthy foods to people for a 50 cent donation is not appreciated. To those at the Susan B. Komen For The Cure Foundation, times may be tough, but there’s a line where the end does not justify the means,  and you crossed it.

If you think I’m making any of this up, or exaggerating, see:

http://www.kfc.com/promos/commercial_pinkbucket.asp

http://www.bucketsforthecure.com/

This health advocate is truly disgusted…


26 Comments
  1. makster 9 years ago

    Anything to make a buck. It seems like a lot of companies are jumping on this band wagon. Pick a good cause and find a way to promote their product with it. They try to justify the purchase of their product as "doing something good" even though in this case the "product" is not so good.

  2. Miguel 9 years ago

    Shame on them, they the food and farmacy industry kill more people than anything else…and all for money!!!…and now that…they are laughting at us, they think we are stuped. Thats unacceptable

  3. Big 9 years ago

    the only thing I can say positive about the promotion is that they sell thousands of buckets of chicken each day…either way… at least the people who would have bought them anyways had some money go towards something worth while…. but KFC is crap… their lean grilled chicken hydrogenated oil and sodium etc… and their double friend chicken sand… HORRIBLE for the waistline… even though you can go to a national chain resturant and get something that you think is somewhat health only to find out it has double the calories that KFC's new double friend chicken sand as and double the sodium…but they dont tell you that…. either way I avoid it all and make a yearly donation to certain disease research programs….

    • Fat Preacher 9 years ago

      Big, good for you! It's always encouraging to see someone who puts his money where his mouth is. Americans are among the most generous people on earth, and your contributions to research are a prime example of this.
      I, too, feel that there are already buckets and buckets of this junk being sold. Whether KFC donates to charity or not, the sales will not change much one way or the other. So, as long as people are already buying it, who cares if KFC wants to give their own money to help fund cancer research?
      Meanwhile, the rest of us can avoid the toxic treats of the fast food industry, do our part to educate our family and friends (a pretty thankless task, by the way!) and make our own contributions directly as we see fit.

    • Fat Preacher 9 years ago

      Big, good for you! It's always encouraging to see someone who puts his money where his mouth is. Americans are among the most generous people on earth, and your contributions to research are a prime example of this.
      I, too, feel that there are already buckets and buckets of this junk being sold. Whether KFC donates to charity or not, the sales will not change much one way or the other. So, as long as people are already buying it, who cares if KFC wants to give their own money to help fund cancer research?
      Meanwhile, the rest of us can avoid the toxic treats of the fast food industry, do our part to educate our family and friends (a pretty thankless task, by the way!) and make our own contributions directly as we see fit.

  4. Greg 9 years ago

    OK, what are you doing to combat these diseases? Not just selling your services, which is making a buck, I am how are you contributing to fighting these diseases?

    • Mark 9 years ago

      He's teaching people to eat properly, which does a lot more for preventing cancer than donating money to an organization that obviously isn't doing that much good as rates of breast cancer continue to increase. Throwing money at cancer isn't the answer. On the other hand, people taking responsibility for themselves by eating right and avoiding the garbage they sell at restaurants like KFC is.

    • Zach 9 years ago

      is that a joke? prevention is the best way to fight disease, and eating healthily and exercising are the best methods of prevention, both of which will helps people do every day. the susan b komen people were out of line on this, will is right to call them out and has made more of a contribution to the health fields than most ever will

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      You're asking the question on a web site FULL of free info on health, wellness, weight loss, disease prevention, etc, etc Greg? Really? I have been writing on those very topics in dozens of magazines in over 50 countries, given seminars, radio, etc, etc. I have added more info – most of it free – on how people can improve their health via exercise, nutrition, supplements, etc then most others on this planet. That's a fact.

  5. Pete 9 years ago

    While I understand the point of this post, I have to say that KFC is one of the easier places to get relatively clean protein at while on the run. You can do a LOT worse than their grilled chicken or even the grilled Double Down. So my question to Will is this: What food outlet could offer this sort of charitable tie-in and avoid this criticism? I ask that it be a national chain.
    2 more points:
    First, I think that any diversion of funds to Komen and other deserving charities is a good thing.
    Second, @Greg, I'd say that what Will provides to all people is of great value (both for education and entertainment) and he helps a lot of people live healthier lives (including me)

  6. Big 9 years ago

    the only thing I can say positive about the promotion is that they sell thousands of buckets of chicken each day…either way… at least the people who would have bought them anyways had some money go towards something worth while…. but KFC is crap… their lean grilled chicken hydrogenated oil and sodium etc… and their double friend chicken sand… HORRIBLE for the waistline… even though you can go to a national chain resturant and get something that you think is somewhat health only to find out it has double the calories that KFC's new double friend chicken sand as and double the sodium…but they dont tell you that…. either way I avoid it all and make a yearly donation to certain disease research programs….

  7. Big 9 years ago

    the only thing I can say positive about the promotion is that they sell thousands of buckets of chicken each day…either way… at least the people who would have bought them anyways had some money go towards something worth while…. but KFC is crap… their lean grilled chicken hydrogenated oil and sodium etc… and their double friend chicken sand… HORRIBLE for the waistline… even though you can go to a national chain resturant and get something that you think is somewhat health only to find out it has double the calories that KFC's new double friend chicken sand as and double the sodium…but they dont tell you that…. either way I avoid it all and make a yearly donation to certain disease research programs….

  8. Kimberly 9 years ago

    High Five!! I thought the same thing! SBKomen should be ashamed of themselves to allow their name to get connected with KFC. Now they are both stupid.
    Thanks for the article, Will.

  9. Zach 9 years ago

    i completely agree with you will! very well said post. if kfc was donating a thousand dollars per bucket, then yeah, maybe the end might justify the means, but do the Susan B. Komen people really think that 50 cents is really worth selling out for? it takes billions of dollars of research to make even a noticeable change in the field of breast cancer, meanwhile what about all the chickens that are getting raped and abused cause of the crap that KFC puts them through? i dont think that making an insignificant contribution to a cause that might, over many years, raise enough money to slightly lessen the pains of breast cancer justifies torturing thousands of innocent chickens

    • Fat Preacher 9 years ago

      Chickens are being "raped"? In deference to victims of the human version of this crime, I suggest you find a different metaphor!
      Of course, the people who frequent KFC are probably not avid readers of this blog, and probably don't care what we think about their choice of fast food. And, chances are that we are such a small demographic that the Susan B Komen Foundation are not worried about losing our contributions, such as they are (or are not).
      Please bear in mind that an occasional meal at KFC will not give you cancer. Moreover, totally avoiding all fast foods, eating clean and getting exercise is no guarantee that you will not die from cancer.
      I think it's just fine that KFC wants to donate some of their legal profits to help find a cure for cancer. I can see why some people would object, but it reminds me of the story once told about Dwight L Moody, the famous Chicago preacher. When some shady characters wanted to donate to his charitable works, some of his friends disparaged the "tainted" money. Mr Moody said, "The only thing tainted about it is it 'taint enough."
      Accepting a contribution does NOT mean that you endorse the contributor, though it certainly implies that the contributor endorses you. Kudos to KFC and one thumb down to Will for implying that anyone is seriously saying that eating fried chicken will cure cancer!

  10. Simon 9 years ago

    "Kudos to KFC and one thumb down to Will for implying that anyone is seriously saying that eating fried chicken will cure cancer!"
    ?
    I don't think he ever did imply such a thing, the opposite . The point being made is that it's pretty rich KFC are cynically using cancer to advance their marketing campaign whilst clearly adding to the horrendous obesity problem in the process.
    That you can get cancer irrelevent of whether you eat KFC or other crappy foods is moot. KFC are manipulating the masses and using cancer as mechanism to increase sales so people "feel better" about eating a bucket of fried food, as a cancer sufferer Will saw something in that he didn't like , I can see his point.
    I even eat occasionally in KFC, sorry, I just damm like the food but I would be an idiot to not see how transparent a marketing ploy this is. I especially don't like the underlying phsycological trigger they are using to make people feel better about eating in KFC, almost tiying together the mantra that eating more KFC foods helps cure cancer, it's playing the cancer card to guillables .

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      Your reading comprehension and sarcasm meter needs work "fat preacher" if you think I wan implying fried chicken cures cancer. My major points are easy to see in my write above above: a company that sells foods known to cause obesity, obesity related disease and death, donating a fraction of their profits to a cancer fund, is a PR move, and n very poor taste in my view.

  11. Fat Preacher 9 years ago

    Accepting donations is NOT the same thing as endorsing a product. As Big said, this product is being sold regardless of whether or not KFC makes any donations to anybody. I think it's commendable that KFC would see fit to donate some of their profits to a worthy cause.
    Eating KFC every once in a while will not cause cancer. Eating well and exercise is important, and will lower your risk for many diseases. However, it is no guarantee that you will die cancer free.
    I think Greg may have asked his question in a less-than-eloquent way, but the point is well taken. KFC is donating from their legal profits to help find a cure for cancer. E tu?

  12. Author
    willbrink 9 years ago

    You only needed to post this once. I don't have to screen customer, I'm not a non profit charity, and don't sell information that leads to obesity, cancer, CVD, etc. It's a moot issues anyway.

  13. Terry 9 years ago

    You guys are individualizing the argument. Sure, the person who buys the KFC and consumes it isn't helping his or her own health, and almost certainly hurting it, but someone with breast cancer who doesn't buy or consume KFC can benefit from this. Now I agree that the fast food industry has created a widespread health epidemic. This opens up a large argument on how fast food is produced, distributed, and marketed. It also opens up an argument on how and why producers bring these foods to market, as well as why consumers want them. It also brings up arguments on how the animals are raised and the vegetables are grown, which can be seen as exploitative to the animals and extremely detrimental to our health. There are also land use, environmental, and labor arguments here as well. So basically, there are a lot of fights to be fought here, and I'm not sure any of us can fight them all. Part of life is about carefully picking and choosing your battles. So while I'm a firm advocate of healthy living choices, and therefore a firm adversary of the fast food industry, I also recognize the big picture here is a widespread social problem with many battles to be fought, and not just about individual choices. Yes, the KFC dealio is a hypocritical farce, but so is the entire fast food industry. With all the battles that need to be fought and won, I think a battle against a shameless marketing racket that can still raise money for breast cancer research that can help someone with cancer that doesn't eat or buy KFC is a battle that can be put on the backburner for now. Not forever mind you, but there are plenty of other battles that can be fought and won before this one. There is no shortage of hypocrisy and detriments to social health in the fast food industry. Perhaps we should focus on those arguments first, and let this one go, for now, and come back to this one and others like it when other battles have been won.

  14. Jim 9 years ago

    I agree with you completely on this issue, but I do have a problem with the e-mail you sent out which linked to this article. You point out KFC's idiocy, then in the same breath promote Joel Marion's New Garbage Program that says you can eat whatever cancer-causing, obesity-promoting foods you want as long as it's on a certain day. Now, I don't know all the details and may be jumping to the wrong conclusion since I don't own any of Marion's programs. I've only seen his sales pitch, and it always seems to be all about "cheating." You can't cheat your way to health.
    No offense to you, Will. I've recently discovered your site and respect what you are doing. Can't say that I have the same level of respect for Joel Marion. I'm really sick and tired of dozens upon dozens of e-mails for his new program flooding my inbox.

  15. Terry 9 years ago

    You guys are individualizing the argument. Sure, the person who buys the KFC and consumes it isn't helping his or her own health, and almost certainly hurting it, but someone with breast cancer who doesn't buy or consume KFC can benefit from this. Now I agree that the fast food industry has created a widespread health epidemic. This opens up a large argument on how fast food is produced, distributed, and marketed. It also opens up an argument on how and why producers bring these foods to market, as well as why consumers want them. It also brings up arguments on how the animals are raised and the vegetables are grown, which can be seen as exploitative to the animals and extremely detrimental to our health. There are also land use, environmental, and labor arguments here as well. So basically, there are a lot of fights to be fought here, and I'm not sure any of us can fight them all. Part of life is about carefully picking and choosing your battles. So while I'm a firm advocate of healthy living choices, and therefore a firm adversary of the fast food industry, I also recognize the big picture here is a widespread social problem with many battles to be fought, and not just about individual choices. Yes, the KFC dealio is a hypocritical farce, but so is the entire fast food industry. With all the battles that need to be fought and won, I think a battle against a shameless marketing racket that can still raise money for breast cancer research that can help someone with cancer that doesn't eat or buy KFC is a battle that can be put on the backburner for now. Not forever mind you, but there are plenty of other battles that can be fought and won before this one. There is no shortage of hypocrisy and detriments to social health in the fast food industry. Perhaps we should focus on those arguments first, and let this one go, for now, and come back to this one and others like it when other battles have been won.

  16. Terry 9 years ago

    BTW Will, thanks for everything you have done. I have used your advice and knowledge a lot over the years.

  17. Austinrowe 9 years ago

    Nice article but I still think I'm gonna buy a bucket to "Cure my hunger" lol! Btw you got a spelling error at the end "Komen" you mean Women.

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      Not sure what typo you mean. Komen as in' Susan B. Komen For The Cure Foundation,'

  18. Collateral damage 9 years ago

    Anyone that thinks the foundations or societies that hustling donations in the guise of finding a cure are delusional.
    There will NEVER be a cure found coming from research funded by the likes of the Susan G. Komen foundation, the American Cancer Society, or any other such organizations in the corporate sector.
    Has anyone reading this comment ever known any organization that would publish information that would cause it to close down.
    How much profit would be lost by Big Pharma if a cure were found for cancer?
    How many foundations/societies would have no reason for existence should a cure be published for the respective malady they allege to solicit funds? It appears to this commentator that the answers are rather obvious.
    Were you to check the charters of these various organizations you'd find that if a cure is ever found for the maladies these organizations are allegedly seeking research funding to find a cure for, they're required to disband.
    The Susan G. Komen foundation didn't step over the line. It just showed it's true colors. It's purely in it for the money. They are no more looking for a cure for cancer than the pharmaceutical companies are that are making millions by hawking chemo therapy.
    It's a big show to bilk the people!

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