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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pro Surfer's Mom Shuts Down KFC's 'Disrespectful' Shark Attack Ad

When a mom says enough is enough, people listen. Especially when she's the mother of Mick Fanning, the famed surfer who had a terrifying run-in with a shark during a live webcast in July.


Elizabeth Osborne, Fanning's mother, recently said she was not amused by an advertisement for fast-food chain KFC that parodied her son's encounter.


The ad, which promotes KFC's Jacked Up Double Crunch, shows a surfer wrestling a shark, then tandem-surfing with the beast. It was recently released in South Africa, where Fanning's now-infamous feat took place.


"I think it is very disrespectful," Osborne told Fairfax Media. "They've put a lookalike in the video. It really brings back a lot of trauma for everybody who has been attacked by a shark.


"Some families have had fatalities," Osborne said, "and some people are still absolutely scarred without limbs. It's disrespectful to them and Mick is not at all happy with that."


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,Embed,video,Some({"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUIyIMxkhDo","type":"video","version":"1.0","title":"KFC | NEXT LEVEL AWESOME : MICK FANNING FIGHTS OFF SHARK","author":"L.M.Consulting&Creativity | L.M.C.C.","provider_name":"YouTube","thumbnail_url":"https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kUIyIMxkhDo/maxresdefault.jpg","thumbnail_width":1280,"thumbnail_height":720,"cache_age":60}))

Apparently, KFC was listening.


The ad has been taken down by Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, the advertising agency that created it, according to media news site Campaign Live.


"We recognise that this commercial has offended the Fanning family and the Australian community and for that we sincerely apologise," an Ogilvy & Mather spokesman said recently in a statement. "Along with KFC, we have decided to withdraw the commercial across all channels."


It wasn't the first time someone has tried to have a little fun with Fanning's close encounter. Fanning, a three-time world surfing champion, became the subject of many a meme celebrating his escape soon after it happened.


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Still, some in the surfing community said KFC's ad went beyond the long stream of attempts to make light of Fanning's misfortune.


"Poor Mick Fanning," Ashtyn Douglas, associate editor for Surfer Magazine, wrote on the magazine's website.


"The guy quarrels with a shark on live webcast, sees his life flash before his eyes, and now a fried-chicken chain is poking fun at his close call," Douglas continued. "I’m not sure how 'next level awesome' equates to a shark encounter ..."


For his part, Fanning, who did not immediately return HuffPost's request for comment, probably has better things to focus on.


He is currently in Portugal for the 2015 Moche Rip Curl Pro.


On Tuesday, his mother accepted the Spirit of Sport award for his courage at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame gala on his behalf.


KFC did not immediately return HuffPost's request for comment.


Below, watch the chilling moment when Fanning had to fend off a shark during a live webcast.


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,Embed,video,Some({"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrt27dZ7DOA","type":"video","version":"1.0","title":"Shark Attacks Mick Fanning at J-Bay Open","author":"World Surf League","provider_name":"YouTube","thumbnail_url":"https://i.ytimg.com/vi/xrt27dZ7DOA/maxresdefault.jpg","thumbnail_width":1280,"thumbnail_height":720,"cache_age":86400}))

Also on HuffPost:


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