Krispy Kreme Forced to Apologize after ‘Racist’ Doughnut Advert Branded a ‘Disgrace’


    Krispy Kreme, a well-known doughnut franchise, has found itself in hot water and offering a sincere apology following the release of a promotional campaign that featured an offensive racial slur. The controversy arose from a series of advertisements launched in Australia, aimed at celebrating communal gatherings for occasions like birthdays, life milestones, and sports events.

    In these advertisements, a creative twist was introduced – doughnuts were used to replace the letter ‘o’ in specific words, such as ‘movie’ and ‘footy’, infusing a playful element into the marketing strategy. However, one particular advert altered the word ‘congrats’ to ‘coongrats’, a move that inadvertently incorporated a highly offensive and derogatory term, ‘coon’, used as a racial slur targeting individuals of color.

    Promptly recognizing the gravity of the situation, Krispy Kreme took swift action by withdrawing all ‘congrats’-related advertisements and expressing their heartfelt regret. Olivia Sutherland, the marketing director at Krispy Kreme, acknowledged the inadvertent offense, stating, “We never intended to offend any person or group. We are sorry for the oversight and have removed all congratulations related ads from the campaign.”

    All 'congrats'-related adverts have now been pulled

    The fallout from the incident has extended beyond the brand’s internal efforts to rectify the situation. Dr. Stephen Hagan, an advocate against racism and an author based in Queensland, vehemently condemned Krispy Kreme’s blunder. He labeled the gaffe as “an absolute disgrace” and rallied for a boycott of the brand. Dr. Hagan emphasized the profound impact of such offensive language, particularly in the year 2023, when society should be more sensitive to its implications. He expressed his disappointment, saying, “It’s an absolute disgrace that in 2023, someone thinks they can come up with an… ad like that on a product that is very popular with people of colour. The word has put my family and my people through so much trauma and it’s just disgraceful to see this happening.”

    Krispy Kreme’s regrettable misstep highlights the critical importance of cultural sensitivity and thorough oversight in marketing campaigns. The incident serves as a stark reminder that even seemingly innocuous elements can carry painful historical connotations and have far-reaching effects, warranting vigilance and accountability in today’s diverse and interconnected world.

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