A chocolate Dunkin’ Donuts ad is being criticized as racist. The photo features a woman holding a doughnut.
The woman, and the doughnut, appear to be dipped in chocolate. The woman is also wearing bright pink lipstick, which makes the ad even more bizarre.
The photo was used in an advertising campaign in Thailand. Critics of the ad say the woman’s appearance mimics archaic stereotypes.
As reported by NBC News, critics found the woman’s hairstyle, skin tone, and accentuated lips, offensive. Translated into English, the slogan reads “break every rule of deliciousness.”
Human rights activists contend that a similar ad would not be tolerated in the United States.
Phil Robertson, of Human Rights Watch, asked for the ad to be removed. He said that the chocolate Dunkin’ Donuts ad is insensitive and racist.
In addition to the ad’s removal, Robertson requested a public apology.
The Thailand Dunkin’ Donuts is a franchise, which is independently owned. The owner, Nadim Salhani, dismissed the complaints as “paranoid American thinking.”
As reported by Los Angeles Times, Dunkin’ Donuts officials disagree. They have apologized for the controversial ad.
Dunkin’ Donuts chief communications officer, Karen Raskopf, offered an apology on behalf of the company, and the franchise in Thailand.
She explains that they are working with the franchise owner to negotiate removal of the campaign.
The picture with the chocolate covered woman was used in television and print ads in Thailand.
As reported by ABC News, Advertising campaigns in Thailand often feature racist undertones.
An advertisement for skin cream suggests that people with lighter skin are happier and have better jobs. Another ad, promoting an herbal toothpaste, suggests that the product “is black, but it’s good.”
The model in the chocolate Dunkin’ Donuts ad is a teenager. She and her parents are proud that she was chosen for the campaign.
[Image via Flickr]