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KFC Threatens Suit Against Hitler Chicken

Issued: July 01 2013

A tweet and news story about a Hitler-themed chicken restaurant in Bangkok – which doesn’t exist – has spread rapidly, even spurring a threatened lawsuit from KFC parent Yum! (Photo via Twitter)

Yum! foods lawyers have threatened to sue a chicken restaurant in Bangkok which uses a version of the company’s KFC logo employing the face and name of Adolf Hitler – even though the chicken shack may not even exist.

 

Mainstream media reports surfaced in London in early July in a Daily Mail story which claimed that the restaurant had opened in June. “Images of it are doing the rounds on Twitter as shocked customers take photos of the offensive eatery,” the newspaper said.

 

The story and photo surfaced from a tweet from Londoner Andrew Spooner, who said: “Very bizarre Hitler Fried Chicken shop in Thailand. I kid you not. Complete with pic of Hitler in bow tie.” The newspaper further quoted Alan Robertson, whom it says lives in Bangkok, as saying “The place opened last month and nobody quite knows what to make of it. I went in for a bite last week and got some fried chicken, which was pretty good, and asked the guy behind the counter why it was called Hitler. He just shrugged his shoulders and said the owners had thought it was good image.”

 

The story was quickly picked up elsewhere, including Asia and the United States, where a spokesperson for KFC parent Yum! told The Huffington Post’s Ron Dicker that it may take “legal action” against the Hitler chicken shop. “We find it extremely distasteful and are considering legal action since it is an infringement of our brand trademark and has nothing to do with us,” the spokesperson told Dicker in an email.

 

What journalists for some of the world’s largest media outlets missed, says Bangkok blogger and journalist Matt Crook, is that the photograph Spooner tweeted has a logo for AmusingThailand.com, a website dedicated to publishing amusing photos from around the country. The problem, Crook says, is that the photo was taken in March 2012, some 14 months before Spooner’s tweet. Additionally, the restaurant – which does appear to have been a real business – was based in Ubon Ratchatani, a city located about 300 miles from Bangkok.

 

 

The Bangkok Post, which published parts of the Daily Mail story, has since issued a correction on its website confirming the restaurant’s Ubon Ratchathani location and notes that “today it is known as ‘H-ler’ and bears a different sign.”

 

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