KFC’s ad parodying a shark attack on Australian surfer Mick Fanning has angered the three-time world champion’s mother.
The ad aired in South Africa, where Mick Fanning was attacked in a competition in July.
In it, an actor who resembles Mick Fanning surfs a wave holding a computer-generated shark over his head.
Mick Fanning’s mother Elizabeth Osborne, who watched the attack unfold on live TV, said it was disrespectful.
“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,” she said.
Elizabeth Osborne also said the World Surf League (WSL), the sport’s governing body, was considering legal action to have the campaign cut short. A WSL spokesperson declined to comment, according to the report.
Mick Fanning was competing at Jeffreys Bay, on the eastern Cape, during the final of the J-Bay Open when he was knocked off his surfboard and into the sea by a shark.
The Australian punched and kicked the shark before being rescued by a lifeguard on a jet ski.
Mick Fanning escaped injury. The tournament was called off soon afterwards.
Elizabeth Osborne has said it was “absolutely terrifying” to watch the attack unfold on live television.
KFC South Africa has yet to make any comment, but its Australian counterpart sought to distance itself from the commercial.
A KFC Australia spokesman told Fairfax: “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.”