Dunkin’ Donuts Blackface Campaign in Thailand

    September 1, 2013
    Lindsay McCane
    Comments are off for this post.

Dunkin’ Donuts has issued an apology for being “insensitive” during their recent advertising campaign in Thailand.

The advertisement shows a woman with her face painted black and bright pink lipstick holding a half eaten “charcoal doughnut”. The slogan reads “Break every rule of deliciousness.”

The Thailand CEO, Nadim Salhani, originally defended the campaign saying the outrage was just “paranoid American thinking”. “It’s absolutely ridiculous,” he continued. “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?” Hours later Dunkin’ Donuts headquarters issued an apology for the “insensitivity” of the campaign.

“It’s both bizarre and racist that Dunkin’ Donuts thinks that it must color a woman’s skin black and accentuate her lips with bright pink lipstick to sell a chocolate doughnut,” said Phil Robertson, who is the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “Dunkin’ Donuts should immediately withdraw this ad, publicly apologize to those it’s offended and ensure this never happens again.”

The Thailand franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts is operated independently of the American franchise, and Salhani says that doughnut sales have increased aproximately 50 percent since the start of the campaign two weeks ago. “Not everybody in the world is paranoid about racism,” said Salhani. “I’m sorry, but this is a marketing campaign, and it’s working very well for us.” Saljani says that he used his own daughter as the model for the campaign.

Image via Twitter

  • Larry

    What we really need to do is make sure that Phil Robertson doesn’t happen again….

  • Cathie

    “Blackface is more than just burnt cork applied as makeup.
    It is a style of entertainment based on racist Black stereotypes.” (black-face.com) This ad isn’t blackface. It’s using colors to promote a product- nothing to do with race. The pink lipstick matches the trademark logo, and the beautiful girl’s color matches the delicious donut. It actually uses sex-appeal, not race, to sell a product.

  • T-Dog

    I am of 99.9% German ancestry. So, that makes it ok for me to be offended by the Toaster Strudel commercials featuring “Hans Strudel”, the little yodeling German boy with the obviously fake blond hair and fake German accent.

  • Reality

    Reality is that this has nothing to do with race.

  • Big Mike

    Maybe you are not looking at whole story, maybe there are different posters for different donuts?

  • Hmmm…..

    Damn those racist doughnut makers from another country. Damn them to hell. Nah…. this is actually crazy and has nothing to do with race. However, apparently America will stop at nothing to export its racist paranoia to other nations.

    Here is why racism is allowed to prosper. We make issues that are absolutely not about race into major racial incidents. This irritates a lot of people to the point that they stop caring. Then when a real racial issue comes along, people are so apathetic that they continue to not care.

    It is kind of like the boy who called wolf.

  • binky

    This is one of the things wrong with america today, put a piece of white bread in the toaster too long when it is taken out it is burnt black is that raciest? We are all black for one year no other color but black is that raciest? Buy a black car for the next five years is that raciest? sit on the beach and get a nice dark suntan is that raciest? It is raciest because you make it raciest. Your white ancestors slave traders stole black people from other nations and brought them to the united states was that raciest? NO!! that was business.

  • John

    “charcoal doughnut” is our President.