KFC Pakistan’s Facebook post on Kashmir is showing signs of the brand getting dragged into controversy just like Hyundai. A verified Facebook page of KFC with FB handle @KFCPakistan posted a picture message showing ‘solidarity’ with Kashmir.
“You never left our thoughts and we hope that the coming years bring peace to you!” reads the FB post. The image has ‘KASHMIR BELONGS TO THE KASHMIRIS’ written in bright red letters.
The FB timestamp shows that the post was made on February 5 at 13:18 hours Indian time. The post was deleted on February 7 around 18:15 hours Indian time after an online uproar.
Just over an hour after the controversial post was deleted from KFC Pakistan’s Facebook page, KFC India took to Twitter issuing an apology over the controversy. Without explicitly naming its FB handle in Pakistan, KFC India said ‘We honour and respect India”
“We deeply apologize for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honour and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride,” said the tweet.
We deeply apologize for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honour and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride.
— KFC India (@KFC_India) February 7, 2022
All signs point towards this becoming a big issue in India which, for KFC, is a major market. Netizens are wondering why the fast-food chain decided to put up a controversial, politically charged post in the first place. Some of those commenting on the initial Facebook post were predicting, perhaps with some degree of accuracy, that this unnecessary post is bound to hit the brand in India.
This Facebook post from KFC is being noticed just days after Hyundai courted controversy when one of its dealers in Pakistan put up a similar post showing support to people in Kashmir.
Indian government for decades has clearly and repeatedly said that Jammu and Kashmir is an indivisible part of the country. Pakistani establishment has chosen to wage wars with India over Kashmir which resulted in their defeat every time. But why established brands like KFC and Hyundai are foraying in political waters is yet to be known. February 5 is marked as so-called “Kashmir Solidarity Day” in Pakistan.
After the recent controversy, Hyundai had to beat a hasty retreat and had to issue a clarification saying that company had “zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication” and that they “strongly condemn any such view”.