Pro Surfers Mom To Sue KFC Over ‘Disrespectful’ Shark Attack Advert

KFC Vs Mick Fanning's Mom: I'll see you in court

KFC South Africa’s take on a Great White Shark attack – Photo: YouTube/KFC

The mother of pro surfer Mick Fanning is reportedly gearing up to take legal action against fried chicken merchants KFC.

Unless you’ve been living on the stinky bit of Uranus, you’ll know about the time a Great White Shark attacked Mick Fanning live on TV during a WSL contest at J-Bay in South Africa last summer.

Everybody from dedicated surfing publications through to national press like the New York Times covered the shocking story and, overnight, absolutely everyone in the world became an expert on sharks. Hell, even this very post will have comments on it from people that haven’t actually read it saying “It wasn’t an attack”.


Well, as we reported last week, KFC South Africa were so inspired by the shocking footage of a shark going for Fanning that they decided to base an advert around it.

We thought at the time the decision was, at best odd, and at worst shockingly poor taste. But then we saw the advert and actually thought, well, it was kind of funny.

Given that nobody was hurt during the attack (although both Fanning and fellow pro Julian Wilson who was also in the water were, quite understandably shaken up following the event), and the ad clearly just has a bit of fun with the comments Fanning made about “Getting a few punches in” at the shark during the attack, we actually thought it wasn’t nearly as bad as we expected.


However, reports made on Australian website suggest that Mick Fanning’s mom,  Elizabeth Osbourne, is less than impressed.  She apparently believes the advert is disrespectful and said that the World Surf League was preparing to take legal action against KFC “to have the campaign cut short”.

The site atributes quotes to Osboure claiming she said “I think it is very disrespectful… They’ve put a lookalike in the video. It really brings back a lot of trauma for everybody who has been attacked by a shark.

“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.”

Spot the difference? KFC advert on the left, the original WSL attack footage on the right

We do sympathise with Mick’s mom. Seeing your son getting attacked by a shark must be truly traumatic, and then too see a fast food place cashing in on it must be pretty shit.

However, we’ve applied the best legal minds money can buy (the intern, who did a Law A-Level), and we’re not sure if there are any grounds for legal action to be made.

There doesn’t appear to be any breaches of copy right or image rights, and nobody seems to be the victim of defamation (although the shark does come out it looking bad, but they’re notoriously poorly represented by the Great White law firm, who’re just a bunch of sharks). report that KFC Australia – where the Fanning family come from, commented saying “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.”

We will, of course, bring you more on this story as it unravels.

You may also like:

‘Your Mind Turns Shadows Into Demons’: Mick Fanning On THAT Shark Attack… And How The Aftermath Has Changed His Life

Pro Surfer Is Attacked By A Shark Live On TV

Man Sues Red Bull ‘For Not Giving Him Wings’… And Earns $13 Million Settlement


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