Dunkin' Donuts' U.S. headquarters has apologized after an advertising campaign in Thailand depicted a woman in blackface to promote a chocolate donut, the Associated Press reports.
In early August, the company's franchise in Thailand launched an advertising campaign for its "charcoal donut" by depicting a smiling woman, holding the donut, in blackface makeup with pink lipstick and a jet black 1950's beehive hairdo. "Break every rule of deliciousness," the slogan said in Thai. Although Dunkin Donuts' Thailand executive has defended the photo, the U.S. office released the following apology: "We are working with our Thailand franchisee to immediately pull the ad. DD recognizes the insensitivity of this spot."
"[It's] paranoid American thinking," Thailand's CEO, Nadim Salhani, told the AP. "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 says that since the campaign was launched, sales have increased about 50 percent.
"Not everybody in the world is paranoid about racism," Salhani continued. "I'm sorry, but this is a marketing campaign, and it's working very well for us."
Do you think the campaign crossed the line?