A Krispy Kreme store in Hull, England put its foot in it yesterday by advertising a children’s activity called KKK Wednesdays on Facebook. “Krispy Kreme Klub Wednesdays” was part of a week-long school-holiday program that also includes Funday Monday, Coloring Tuesday, and Facepainting Thursday. Business Insider managed to post the offending ad before it was deleted.
Corporate headquarters went into full damage control mode within a matter of hours, taking down the Facebook post and issuing official apologies. A spokeswoman from the Hull branch said the inappropriate branding came from their head office, reports the Guardian, and that the event would still go ahead under a different name that doesn’t invoke a racist vigilante group.
It beggars belief that in the process of coming up with the name, making the poster, and putting it on social media, not a single person cottoned on to the fact that this might be a bad idea. But major marketing snafus actually seem to happen with surprising/disappointing regularity.
In the last few months alone a restaurant in Cambridge, MA backpedalled for its Billie Holiday inspired “Strange Fruit” drink, not realizing the song refers to lynching victims hanging from trees, and a gastropub in Staten Island, NY got called out for quoting Family Guy and putting a Roofie Colada on the menu. There was also this off color tweet from Dave & Busters in November:
But in the last year, the cherry on top of the political incorrectness cake was definitely the “Long Live the Nazis” pasta dish at Rockmill restaurant in Taiwan. The restaurant manager explained the inexplicable name to the Wall Street Journal thus:
Despite the insensitive nature of the menu item, no one complained about it for a whole year, said the WSJ. That’s despite the fact that it was one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, which is about as confusing as someone naming a children’s activity KKK Wednesday.