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Krispy Kreme postpones free doughnut giveaway following police scrutiny

Krispy Kreme has put its promotional campaign on hold after crowds appeared to flout social distancing recommendations.

Earlier this week, the doughnut brand was offering a dozen free doughnuts to anyone who had a birthday between 13 March and 13 July. NSW Police confirmed that various divisions of its operation, including general duties, traffic control and riot squad, had been called to a number of locations to monitor growing crowds. A store in Melbourne was forced to close.

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IT’S OUR 83RD BIRTHDAY! 🎉 But this year, many of us have missed out on the chance to really party! So, for TODAY ONLY, we’re giving away 36,000 FREE Original Glazed Dozens if you celebrated your birthday in iso! . If your birthday falls between the 13th of March and 13th of July, stop by a Krispy Kreme store TODAY to redeem a FREE Original Glazed Dozen! It’s our way of bringing a little joy to those who’ve had less-than-ideal birthdays in iso. . Tag somebody who had their bday in iso! 🙋 . It's crucial the celebration stays safe! . In Victoria, you will only be able to visit us in your vehicle, through the drive-thrus at Bulleen, Fawkner and Fountain Gate. This is to help us provide a contactless service and follow social distancing practices. . All government guidelines must be followed and customers will be required to comply with social distancing rules at all times. Please ensure you visit our website for details on how to prepare for your visit. . Not available at 7-Eleven, BP or any delivery/online ordering platforms. Not available in South Australia. Strictly only while stocks last. T&Cs apply, visit the link in bio for more info.

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NSW Police was scathing of the timing of the promotion, as Melbourne remains in round two of lockdown, and Sydney teeters on the edge of wider outbreaks.

“This is nonsensical and defies logic,” acting assistant commissioner of NSW Police, Tony Cooke, said.

Speaking more widely about businesses’ responsibilities in containing outbreaks and abiding by the new protocols, NSW minister for police and emergency services, David Elliott, said he is “flabbergasted” to see people flouting the rules at this time.

“The recent images we have seen of mass gatherings and social distancing rules being blatantly ignored are disturbing,” he said. “I want to comment the Police Force, who are diligently investigating any person or business that has broken these laws.”

The promotion was across 21 stores in four states, and was intended to be about “sharing moments of joy with the nation”. It was promoted by PR and content agency Poem.

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🚨 ALL stores have now SOLD OUT! 🚨 . We've received such a massive response to our Iso Bday celebration that all of our stores have now SOLD OUT of delicious Original Glazed dozens! March-July babies, give yourself a pat on the back – you sure love your doughnuts! . With this being said, some of our stores will close for the day shortly. We hate to turn people away, but we must stress that this offer was while stocks last (36,000 dozens 😲). . We thank everyone who visited one of our stores today and waited patiently – another huge thanks for cooperating with our staff. Together, we made today special. We hope we've helped you reclaim some of your rightful birthday glory 🍩✨ . Couldn't redeem today's offer? Not to worry, there are always more offers around the corner!

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Krispy Kreme defended its preparation for Monday’s event, noting policies were in place to be compliant.

“When announcing the one-day-only birthday offer on social media, Krispy Kreme clearly outlined to customers the following message around social distancing: ‘All government guidelines must be followed and customers will be required to comply with social distancing rules at all times. Please ensure you visit our website for details on how to prepare for your visit,'” a spokesperson told Mumbrella.

“Krispy Kreme worked hard with customers and local authorities to ensure social distancing was implemented. We have strict policies in place in accordance with the state government regulations with regards to social distancing for all our stores.”

Despite defending its position, Krispy Kreme has now postponed all additional ‘Buy One Get One Free’ promotions until a later date.

“Due to the developing COVID-19 situation across Australia, Krispy Kreme Australia has made the decision to postpone the additional BOGOF offer to a later date,” the spokesperson confirmed.

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