The Dunkin’ Donuts new campaign advertisement, a girl wearing dark make up is “bizarre and racist” according to Human Rights Watch. According to reports, the franchise in Thailand came under criticism Friday after Human Rights Watch called the advertisements “bizarre and racist”.
Dunkin’ Donuts chief executive in Thailand defended the campaign, but a spokesman for Dunkin’ Brands told the Guardian on Friday it would immediately pull a planned television spot featuring the imagery according to Financial Times report.
“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,” Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands, said in a statement provided to the Guardian. “We are working with our franchisee to immediately pull the television spot and to change the campaign.”
The CEO for Dunkin’ Donuts in Thailand dismissed the criticism as “paranoid American thinking.” according to AP report.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said CEO Nadim Salhani. “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?”
Salhani said that the Thai franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts operates independently of the American operation and that doughnut sales have increased about 50 percent since the campaign was launched around two weeks ago, which he attributed to curiosity about the new advertisements.
“Not everybody in the world is paranoid about racism,” said Salhani, a Lebanese expatriate in Thailand who said his teenage daughter was the model featured in the campaign. “I’m sorry, but this is a marketing campaign, and it’s working very well for us.”