The United Nations is "red-faced" after a person dressed as Kentucky Fried Chicken's beloved Colonel Sanders was dispatched by the company, slipped into the General Assembly on Monday and posed for pictures with assembly president Ali Treki. KFC's PR agency, Weber Shandwick, had a hand in the play as part of an effort to promote the franchise's new grilled chicken offering.
"It should not have happened -- that I will stress, and very strongly," Michele Montas, spokeswoman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, told Canada's National Post.
Jim Horton of Robert Marston Associates isn't amused, either. "It is a measure of the desperation of marketers that they are doing anything to get attention," he blogged about the stunt.
The U.N. has threatened legal action following the incident, which was complimented with a letter from KFC president Roger Eaton to the secretary general asking to register "Grilled Nation" as the 193th member state.
Update: Rick Maynard, Manager of PR for KFC, told us via email: "KFC has the utmost respect for the United Nations and this lighthearted event in New York City was in no way meant to undermine the important work that the U.N. does around the world."
He said the Colonel was in New York for a sampling event outside the United Nations and while serving free chicken on First Avenue was invited inside by a U.N. staff member, along with a photographer who was documenting the event.