Dunkin’ Donuts Under Fire for ‘Bizarre and Racist’ Ads

by Karl Utermohlen | August 30, 2013 11:42 am

Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN[1]) released an ad in Thailand that’s causing much controversy due to its depiction of a woman with blackface makeup and bright pink lips as a chocolate doughnut.

The Associated Press reports that Human Rights Watch[2] is shocked to see such an ad from an American company due to the racial stereotypes it brings back. The image of the woman with blackface makeup is similar to offensive racial stereotypes that existed a century ago in the U.S.

The deputy director for Human Rights Watch in Asia said that it is bizarre and racist that Dunkin’ Donuts would paint a woman’s skin black and her lips bright pink to sell a doughnut. He said that the company needs to take the ad down immediately and apologize for it.

However, the Dunkin’ Donuts CEO in Thailand disagreed and said that Americans are paranoid about racism and he doesn’t see the problem in using black to sell a doughnut. He added that Americans should understand that it’s only a marketing campaign and doughnut sales from the company’s Thailand restaurants have increased by 50% since the ad was released.

  1. DNKN: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=DNKN
  2. The Associated Press reports that Human Rights Watch: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_THAILAND_BLACKFACE_DOUGHNUT_AD?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-30-09-13-00

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