Virgin chick, anyone? Risque menu ruffles feathers

A Call a Chick outlet in Shanghai. The fried chicken chain is being investigated for possible violation of social order.
A Call a Chick outlet in Shanghai. The fried chicken chain is being investigated for possible violation of social order.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI • The authorities are investigating a Shanghai-based fried chicken chain for possible violations of social order over its sexually suggestive name, Call a Chick, and menu items. Chick, or chicken, is slang for prostitute in Chinese.

The Shanghai Daily reported yesterday that the chain offered menu items that included "virgin chick" (spring chicken) and "chick's sex partner"(beverages).

It had also run a suggestive promotion slogan titled "Satisfying all your expectations over chicks".

The newspaper said Call a Chick first came under fire in Sichuan when a woman complained to the media after her eight-year-old son kept asking her what it meant.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said it was investigating.

"The content involved could violate social order," the newspaper quoted Mr Li Hua, deputy director of the bureau's advertisement department, as saying.

The law bans advertisements that undermine public order or violate ethical standards. Offenders can face fines of up to 1 million yuan (S$207,000) and have their business licence revoked.

Call a Chick explained in a micro- blog posting that it had been targeting customers aged between 18 and 28 years old, but acknowledged that the language in its marketing and menus was inappropriate and said it had been rectified.

The chain also apologised to the woman in Sichuan and other customers.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Virgin chick, anyone? Risque menu ruffles feathers'. Print Edition | Subscribe