Giant fried chicken chain ad labelled a 'monstrosity' after it appears in city street

·3-min read
People walking past the giant hoarding <i>(Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)</i>
People walking past the giant hoarding (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

A billboard nearly 8m high has been called a "monstrosity" by a passerby.

The huge KFC advert has appeared on the front of scaffolding in West Street, Brighton.

The hoarding is on the side of the former TSB bank, on the corner of Duke Street and West Street, as work begins to replace a shopfront and windows and add another floor to the building.

The Argus: It towers over the former TSB bank
The Argus: It towers over the former TSB bank

It towers over the former TSB bank (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

But not everyone is keen on the advert, which dominates the building's exterior.

One 76-year-old walking past, who did not wish to give his name, said: "I was born in Brighton, I've lived in Brighton, and I've not seen anything like this.

"I think it's a monstrosity. And so is the food.

"I don't know why we should be promoting the way these animals are treated so prominently in the city."

The advert, which shows a woman taking a bite of a chicken burger, is illuminated at night by seven LED lights.

A planning document said the lighting is controlled by a sensor so it comes on if it is dark between the hours of 7am and 11pm.

The Argus: The advert is directly opposite a crossing in the centre of Brighton
The Argus: The advert is directly opposite a crossing in the centre of Brighton

The advert is directly opposite a crossing in the centre of Brighton (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

It is in a conservation area, which aims to safeguard the historic architecture and feel of the area.

The planning application for the hoarding, submitted by advertising company Infinity Outdoor, said: "The visual amenity of the area will be temporarily compromised when the building works commence and scaffolding is erected along the site frontage on to West Street.

"The proposal is an alternative to the traditional untidy appearance of scaffolding and its normal screening offering which lacks any visual interest."

Simon Hand, an appeal inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “In my view, scaffold shrouds with advertising have become a typical part of a busy urban street scene.

"They provide colour and interest to what would otherwise be ugly scaffolding, often partly covered by tatty short-term shrouding, and they announce a redevelopment that is being undertaken, hopefully, to the long term improvement of the street scene in general.

"As long as their impact on nearby valued landscapes and buildings is not overwhelming, as a short-term measure to cover scaffolding many proposals would seem to offer only a benefit to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.”

The application said it would be there for 12 months.

Not everyone is convinced. Resident Peter Stone, 72, said: "It's very big, isn't it. You can't exactly miss the advert."

A nearby shopkeeper, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I first saw it a few days ago, and I heard people talking about it. It catches everyone's eyes, which is both a good and a bad thing.

"It's certainly distracting compared to the rest of the environment."

KFC was approached for comment.