The ad is called "The Piano" and is a play on the company's tagline "Finger-licking good." In the video, dozens of people are shown licking their fingers (and in one case, someone else's) in public places while eating KFC's chicken. It's set to the sounds of Chopin's Nocturne op.9 No.2.
According to the outlet, 163 people complained to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the ad, which premiered two weeks ago as people were being encouraged to wash their hands often and avoid public gatherings because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The complaints reportedly called the ad "irresponsible" and said that it encouraged behavior that could spread the virus.
KFC confirmed in a statement to the outlet that it would be pulling the ad for the time being but said it hopes to bring it back at a later date.
"It doesn't feel like the right time to be airing this campaign, so we've decided to pause it for now—but we're really proud of it and look forward to bringing it back at a later date," they told The Drum.
According to Fox News, both Hershey's and Coors have had to pull campaigns because of context about coronavirus prevention, with Hershey's having an ad that featured people hugging and Coors dubbing itself the "Official Beer of Working Remotely."