Opinion

Dunkin’ Donuts ‘Charcoal Donut’ ad dubbed racist; causing international controversy

One of the world’s leading human rights groups is upset over a new “bizarre and racist” donut ad airing in Thailand claiming Americans would “howl” with outrage if we saw it. Which we won’t because Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand and America are separate organizations.

Dunkin’ Donuts in Thailand has launched a new ad for its “Charcoal Donut” that features “a female model with dark skin and bright pink lips,” the Daily Mail reported.

Dunkin Donuts ad
Photo Credit: The Daily Mail.

“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,” Asia’s Human Rights Watch director Phil Robertson said, the Mail reported. “Dunkin’ Donuts should immediately withdraw this ad, publicly apologize to those it’s offended and ensure this never happens again.”

The Thai franchise is not only standing behind its new ad; it said donut sales have increased by 50 per cent because of the ad. And, the report said, “racial stereotypes in advertisements is common” in Thailand.

“Not everybody in the world is paranoid about racism,” Thailand Dunkin Donuts CEO Nadim Salhani said, whose daughter is actually the model featured in the controversial ad.

According to the article, Salhani continued his criticism of Human Rights Watch’s complaints:

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.

It’s no surprise, really, that the Chief Communications Officer for “Dunkin’ Brands” has apologized to the world for the “insensitivity of this spot.”

According to the Mail, Dunkin’ Brands wants the Thai ad pulled immediately.

More from the Daily Mail.

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