Krispy Kreme dumps offensive ad

Krispy Kreme ANZ has apologised for a botched creative that displayed a highly offensive racial slur and has removed the offending spot from the campaign.

The new campaign from the brand, made in collaboration with Abel and Limehouse Production, aims to celebrate life’s sweet moments, encouraging Aussies to make the moments even sweeter with a box of doughnuts.

Doughnuts replace the letter ‘o’ in words such as ‘footy’ and ‘hooray’ across the four spots, including the word ‘congrats’ – briefly spelling ‘coongrats’ then ‘cooongrats’.

The creative has since been removed from the campaign

Krispy Kreme ANZ’s marketing director, Olivia Sutherland, later apologised and said “we never intended to offend any person or group”.

In a statement, she said: “We are sorry for the oversight and have removed all congratulations related ads from the campaign.”

The remaining spots are still in market as planned.

Anti-racism campaigner Dr Stephen Hagan, who led the charge on changing the Coon Cheese brand to Cheer in 2021, has however called for a boycott of the doughnut brand, telling Mumbrella: “I don’t think they’ve learnt their lesson. Krispy Kreme has a history of racism and they haven’t learnt.

“These are not little slip ups, these are huge. And I don’t accept the apology,” Dr Hagan said.

Krispy Kreme has apologised for the offensive gaffe

This is not the first time Krispy Kreme has been in hot water over racial concerns, as in 2015, the UK branch of the brand was called out for its ‘KKK Wednesday’ – meaning ‘Krispy Kreme Klub Wednesday’ – promotion.

The promotion was intended for school kids to partake in activities during a week-long half-term break, but was quickly removed.

Over the past decade, a number of brands including Dove, TP Concreting and Devondale have been called out for similar matters.

In 2014, Ad Standards found a Devondale ad showing an Asian man struggling to herd cows was ‘demeaning’ and was removed from television. It was the third time the dairy brand had an ad banned by the board in the space of 12 months.

In 2017, a radio ad by Queensland-based TP Concreting was also banned by Ad Standards for mocking an Asian man, naming him ‘Ping Pong’. The ad was found to have breached rules on the grounds of discrimination and racial vilification.

That same year, beauty brand Dove was called out over skin whitening, with an offensive ad that depicted a black woman appearing to turn white after using Dove’s body lotion.


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