Dunkin’ Donuts has apologised for running an advertising campaign in Thailand after it was branded racist by Human Rights Watch.
The advert for the brand’s “charcoal donut” showed a woman – the daughter of Thailand Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nadam Salhani – appear to change skin colour after eating it, accompanied by the slogan: “Break every rule of deliciousness.”
Human Rights Watch described it as “bizarre and racist” and Dunkin’ Donuts US headquarters eventually apologised for the “insensitivity” of the campaign, but not before Thailand CEO Salhani’s initial rant about the “ridiculous” reaction and “paranoid American thinking”.
The campaign was launched by the local franchise and included posters, a TV spot and social media activity. Dunkin’ Donuts’ HQ said it was working with its franchisee to pull the TV spot after Human Rights Watch said there would be “howls of outrage” if it ran in America.