Are people extremely sensitive these days or is this really a racist doughnut ad?
A human rights group has made Dunkin’ Donuts, the popular doughnut chain, their new target after an ad promoting a new flavor popped up.
The “charcoal donut” is one of the new flavors in Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand and the ad features a woman painted in all black with bright pink lips. The ad allegedly reminds people of the stereotypes placed on black people in terms of looks many years ago. Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson says it was shocked to see the ad considering Dunkin’ is based in America:
“It’s both bizarre and racist that Dunkin’ Donuts thinks that it must color a woman’s skin black and accentuate her lips with bright pink lipstick to sell a chocolate doughnut. Dunkin’ Donuts should immediately withdraw this ad, publicly apologize to those it’s offended and ensure this never happens again.”
Although Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand operates independently of the U.S. properties, Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands, says they do recognize the problem. In a statement to MSNBC, Raskopf said:
“Dunkin’ Donuts recognizes the insensitivity of this spot and on behalf of our Thailand franchisee and our company, we apologize for any offense it caused. We are working with our franchisee to immediately pull the television spot and to change the campaign.”
But while it appears the powers that be over at Dunkin’ Donuts want the ad to come down, the CEO of the Thai location says he doesn’t see the problem at all and charged the drama to “paranoid American thinking.”
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. We’re not allowed to use black to promote our doughnuts? I don’t get it. What’s the big fuss? What if the product was white and I painted someone white, would that be racist? I’m sorry, but this is a marketing campaign and it’s working very well for us.”
Salhani, who says it was his daughter who was used as the model, says that not everyone in the world is paranoid about race and the marketing campaign has worked very well for them.
It hasn’t. In fact, according to The Associated Press, no one in Thailand is concerned about the ad at all.
So what do you think? Is this a racist doughnut ad or are people just being overly sensitive?