KFC Now Filling Potholes…With Ads

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In the latest sign that the economy is even more screwed than we thought: The city of Louisville, Kentucky has struck a deal allowing the fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken to fill in the city’s potholes—in exchange for stamping the pavement as “Re-freshed by KFC.”

KFC explains that the company’s foray into highway repair is a tie-in to its new “fresh” campaign, which focuses on food quality. Well, nice to know that it isn’t part of the “take advantage of the county’s economic collapse” or “appropriation of municipal public works” campaigns. According to Ad Age:

“This program is a perfect example of that rare and
optimal occurrence when a company can creatively market itself and help local
governments and everyday Americans across the country,” said Javier
Benito, exec VP-marketing and food innovation at KFC. Louisville Mayor Jerry
Abramson noted in a statement that budgets are tight for cities across the
country, and finding funding for road repairs is a dirty job. “It’s great
to have a concerned corporation like KFC create innovative private/public
partnerships like this pothole refresh program.”

Yea, because there’s nothing creepy whatsoever about a fast food company, especially one accused of harming the Amazon rainforest, providing low wages, and being cruel to animals taking over city maintenance.

KFC is certainly no stranger to advertising that takes advantage of things that are objectively a little depressing; its Famous Bowls, for instance, seem rather obviously a product marketed to the lonely.

In addition to the Louisville project, KFC has invited US mayors to request help from the company. KFC plans to select more cities at random for pothole assistance.

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We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

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