Ruling

Resolution Statement 16566-17 KFC v The Daily Telegraph

    • Date complaint received

      31st August 2017

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement 16566-17 KFC v The Daily Telegraph

1. KFC (UK & Ireland) complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Daily Telegraph breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “London Bridge gang ‘plotted attack in KFC’”, published on 8 June 2017.

2. The article reported on claims made in the Italian media that the London Bridge terror attack could have been plotted at a KFC restaurant, following claims that “two of the gang had worked there at the same time”. The article reported that a spokesman for the complainant had “initially denied” that one of the terrorists, Youssef Zaghba, had worked for KFC, but had “later admitted it was possible that they had been employed in some capacity”.

3. The complainant said that Youssef Zaghba had not worked for them in any capacity: the article given a misleading impression of the newspaper’s position and the statements which it had provided to the newspaper, prior to publication.

4. The complainant said that their spokesperson had informed the newspaper that Youssef Zaghba had not been employed by KFC in an office or restaurant capacity. It said that the newspaper had then asked them to confirm whether or not Zaghba could have been employed at a restaurant in any capacity, such as an agency worker; their spokesperson had responded and said that while they could not confirm that this was the case, they would undertake further inquiries. Subsequent to this the complainant issued a statement to the newspaper which said: “we can confirm that we have found no record of the individuals named Youssef Zaghba working at KFC in the UK, Ireland or Italy”.

5. The newspaper did not accept the complainant’s position that this final statement had been clear on Zaghba's possible or potential association with KFC in a non-employed capacity: it did not clarify whether Zaghba ever worked with or for KFC in another capacity. In those circumstances, it said that it had reported on the complainant’s position, accurately.

Relevant Code Provisions

6. Clause 1 (Accuracy)

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.

iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.

iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

Mediated Outcome

6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.

7. Following IPSO’s intervention, the publication offered to publish the following clarification in print on p.2 of its 'Corrections and Clarifications' column, as well as at the top of the online article, before the body of the text began:

KFC

Following our 8 June article, “London Bridge gang 'plotted attack in KFC'", we have been asked to clarify that London Bridge terrorist attacker Youssef Zaghba was never employed by KFC franchisee Auriga Holdings, in a restaurant, office job or otherwise, nor is there any evidence that he worked with or for KFC in any other capacity. We are happy to do so.

8. The complainant said that this resolved the matter to its satisfaction.

9. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.

Date complaint received: 29/06/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 20/07/2017