Fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has stirred up strong dissatisfaction among Chinese intellectuals for using a traditional Chinese Taoist monk's image to advertise its chicken sandwich.
In the advertisement for its new chicken sandwich product that came out on July 1, KFC arranged a Chinese vegetarian hero to leave Tianshan Mountain to taste the new chicken sandwich. Scholars condemn this ad saying that it has distorted the cultural value of Chinese Taoism in which most of the believers are vegetarians.
KFC is also criticized for copying the plot of the popular movie "Seven Swords" which depicts Fu Qingzhu and Huiming monks, both of whom helped defend China against invaders in the 17th century.
KFC is being accused in local media of disrespecting Chinese culture, but a representative from KFC in China has only said that since the chicken sandwich promotion has ended, the ad will soon be pulled from the air. No formal apology has been announced by the fast food franchiser.