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Food & Drink

KFC ad parodying pro surfer shark attack sparks anger

KFC South Africa is creating waves with a controversial new ad parodying July's shocking shark attack on a pro surfer caught on live television.

The chicken chain’s spot promotes a burger only available in South Africa called the Jacked Up Double Crunch Meal, while poking  fun at surfer Mick Fanning’s harrowing attack in South Africa, reports Australia's Fairfax Media.

In the real attack, Fanning, who was competing in a surf competition being broadcast live, beats the shark off by punching it.

The commercial shows a surfer, who looks strikingly similar to Fanning, wrestling a shark before picking it up over his head and riding the wave. The KFC ad was shot and produced by 7Films in Melkbos in Cape Town, South Africa and uses the tag line, the “Next Level Awesome.”

But Fanning's mother, Elizabeth Osborne, who watched the attack unfold on live television, told Fairfax Media that the ad was in poor taste.

"It really brings back a lot of trauma for everybody who has been attacked by a shark," she said. "Some families have had fatalities and some people are still absolutely scarred without limbs. It's disrespectful to them and Mick is not at all happy with that."

KFC South Africa has not commented on the ad, but the BBC reports that a KFC Australia spokesman said, "the advertisement has been produced in South Africa - KFC Australia is very sensitive to the situation in Australia and this is not the type of ad we would choose to show here."