KFC Sneaks Advertising Onto Spotify’s Ad-Free Premium Platform – But Not for Long

In a surprising move, KFC managed to sneak advertising onto Spotify’s ad-free Premium platform — but apparently only in the Middle East, and only for a short time before it was removed.

As reported by Fast Company, to launch KFC’s new Kentucky Burger in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates-based agency Memac Ogilvy & Mather partnered with three popular artists in the region — Flipperachi, Moh Flow, and Shébani — who plastered their Spotify profile pages with KFC signage: Kentucky Burgers were featured on their cover photos, bios, profile pictures, and events. Even their playlists also featured song titles including the words “Discover,” “New,” “Kentucky,” “Burger,” “Come & Visit,” “KFC,” “Get It,” and “Before It’s Too Late.” Since artists upload their own information on the platform, presumably they were in on the stunt.

A rep for KFC did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment. While Spotify declined comment, a source close to the situation said the streaming giant was unaware of the move and apparently took quick action once it learned about it.

Rather incredibly, the company basically bragged about the move via a promotional video — calling it “The first advertisement on Spotify Premium” — and Fernando Montero González, a creative exec at Memac Ogilvy & Mather creative, told Fast Company that the ad was positioned to be non-intrusive on the ostensibly ad-free platform.

“Our communication was placed in a way that the user had a choice to embrace or ignore it,” González said. “Through the first-ever ad on Spotify Premium we are proving that ads can coexist with the user experience without interrupting them. The idea is a bit polarizing, but that’s what gives it traction.”

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