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Oprah Stirs the Pot With Free KFC Offer

Two days ago, Oprah offered her viewers a free coupon for KFC's new grilled chicken — complete with sides and biscuit. The promotion took off, and by the next day, Oprah's KFC coupons were the fifth most popular search on Google. But rather than getting recognition for offering her viewers bargain bites, Oprah's fallen under fire for the move.

Last year, the talk show guru was named PETA's Person of the Year for exposing the cruelty of the factory farm industry. But KFC buys its meat from Tyson, a company that has come under attack for supporting CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). This conflict of interest has sent environmental media outlets into outrage; sustainable food blog Civil Eats called the free KFC offer "Oprah's most hypocritical move yet."

Moreover, the free KFC coupons have caused upheaval in stores. The demand for free chicken has overwhelmed many KFC franchisees: one manager at a midtown Manhattan outpost told customers the promotion was over for the day, prompting patrons redeeming coupons to hold a sit-in, refusing to leave the store until they received free chicken.

After all the backlash, I can't help but wonder whether Oprah regrets promoting the offer. Did you partake in the promotion? Do you think the free grilled chicken giveaway was a mistake on her part?

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pioneers pioneers 6 years
While I think they can be totally ridiculous, PETA has a point here. KFC's chicken is loaded with unnecessary growth hormones from chickens who had their beaks cut off and became too huge to even stand up. Even though I'm not a vegetarian, I try my hardest not to support any CAFOs and figured that the person who was just named Person of the Year would, too. It's super hypocritical.
caresse caresse 6 years
so ridiculous. now Oprah cannot do anything without a controversy. it doesnt matter how she does it, when why... the end result is the same. people just like to hate her
aimeeb aimeeb 6 years
This was quite the hooplah the other day.
Womenfest Womenfest 6 years
I saw Oprah eat a box of Krispy Cream donuts and an entire bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken when she was working for WJZ TV in Baltimore and I was a intern there. This was not a pretty sight in fact I've never forgotten it!
chefdrea chefdrea 6 years
First of all, I saw the episode and it was made very clear that KFC was giving the chicken away - not Oprah. She was just the voice behind the offer, trying to make an offer to everyone, not just her studio audience. Nice thought, if you ask me. When you go to her site to do the download you are redirected to a KFC site to access the coupon (not that I could get it because it would not print and said that it did). Regarding the nutritional aspects, Oprah explained that each piece of chicken was 80 calories and 4 grams of fat and showed the various side options and there were healthier options including vegetables and cole slaw, instead of the carb/fat heavy mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese and biscuit. I think she was very responsible in how she presented this free meal and do not feel that she should be blamed for the problems that have arisen. KFC Corporate obviously handled this poorly. They did not prepare their stores for the heavy demand - and there are ways they could have done it without spilling the beans. They could have informed the stores in a timely manner that they needed to up their normal orders over a short period of time and to increase staffing on a particular date to account for a suprise promotion that would be taking place, and then give them the specifics of what that promotion was at the time that Oprah announced the free meals. The fact that the stores were unable to handle the traffic that came through and cancelled the promotions is a shame and will most definitely have some negative impacts on a company that really needed something positive in this economically difficult time.
miznic miznic 6 years
lickety split: Right. The CORPORATE office knew about it. The MANAGERS at the different restaurants evidently didn't. As I said, they can't react or prepare for something they don't KNOW about. Yeah, Oprah was nice about it, but shame on KFC's corporate office for not keeping the stores (and their managers) better informed or prepared about this kind of thing. I work for a hotel that is part of a national chain. When they do promotions, they are supposed to let every hotel in their chain know about it, so that the properties can be informed and involved, and better prepared to handle inquiries and questions regarding the advertised promo. If it's done at the last minute - as this seems to have been, at least from the store's perspective - how is the manager of that store supposed to know that they need to schedule extra people and order extra chicken? Just because you and I saw it on TV or heard it from everyone else doesn't necessarily mean that THEY did. I'm coming to THEIR defense because clearly, no one thought of the managers and employees when this decision was so poorly thought out. While you were standing in line for hours and hours getting your chicken, you were probably getting pissed off because they were being slow with getting it out there - never mind that they already had to deal with a bazillion more people before YOU came in to claim that meal you feel so entitled to. Don't be so quick to take those fast food employees for granted. Especially since some of you on your high horse here would likely NOT take that job at all, opting instead to hit the lottery or wait for that $15/hr job where you can sit on your computer and surf the Internet all day long.
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
how could the manger's of KFC not know? we don't have tv and i heard about it from half a dozen people, and i posted it on here on chatter. oprah was trying to be nice, if kfc wasn't prepared this is on them.
miznic miznic 6 years
At the KFC I was at, the manager there said she knew nothing about the promotion until she checked her email yesterday morning and it was in there. KFC seriously dropped the ball in not preparing their franchises for this. How pompous it is for anyone to assume that it's just the managers' problem, and they should deal with it. If I'd been the manager at that particular KFC, I sure would have been on the phone cursing out somebody at the corporate office for that. How is any manager going to figure on increased traffic if they don't know about it till the day the promo started?? As for PETA - they can find the nearest fire hydrant and do a couple of deep knee bends on it.
pinkerbell03 pinkerbell03 6 years
Don't associate PETA with well-meaning people who are trying to be animal activists. We're not all crazy like PETA is.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
KFC totally knew about this promo. They've been trying to encourage people to try their grilled chicken, so I'm sure they were in cahoots with Oprah to do the promo thing. If the managers at the individual stores are pissed, that's their problem. They should have figured on increased traffic...it's kind of a no-brainer. I myself don't really like KFC, but I know my husband does. He's in Yuma, AZ right now, so I called him to tell him about the coupon. He downloaded it so he could get a free lunch one day while he's down there.
kcmosinki kcmosinki 6 years
I love animals but I hate PETA and their constant terrorizing of everyone who disagrees with them. I don't even take them seriously anymore. As for Oprah...meh
Brandi13jrm Brandi13jrm 6 years
*Just to clarify and prevent some one misreading my words... the last part of my comment was pure sarcasm.
Brandi13jrm Brandi13jrm 6 years
Print out your coupons and donate your meals to the homeless or less fortunate, people who don't have access to a computer,etc. The new chicken is "healthier" if you look at the nutritional info, I would try it for sure. Though the two sides and biscuit you get with the chicken.... uhhhhh not healthy and would cancel out the grilled chicken in my opinion. I used to love Oprah and now she just annoys me for the most part. I don't think she really should have offered this, it's causing more problems than good. As for PETA, yeah, they have a problem with everything... they are perfect, ya know? ; )
wunami wunami 6 years
Yay. This is awesome news because I hate PETA.
ELLEHUDSON ELLEHUDSON 6 years
oprah is not to blame.. PETA is ridiculous.. clearly KFC knew about this much ahead of time.. and the people at the "sit-ins" probably not the most mature or educated persons. no one can do anything these days without coming under fire for it from some group.
smaine07 smaine07 6 years
Oh good grief. PETA .. Oprah didn't make a mistake. PETA is just stupid.
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