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Dunkin Donuts suffers backlash for controversial ad in Thailand September 20, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

A new advertising campaign for Dunkin Donuts in Thailand backfired quickly. The campaign for a new line of “charcoal donuts” featured a television ad with a fair skinned Asian teen wearing a white dress in a white room. The girl takes two bites of the black donut and – BOOM – she turns black, with a black 1950’s beehive hairdo, and huge pink lips.

It took no time for international critics to claim the ad was racist. For instance, the organization Human Rights Watch called the ad “bizarre and racist” because it was basically replicating images of from the 19th and 20th century that depicted black people in stereotypical fashion.  While the company’s representatives in Thailand attempted to defend the campaign, Dunkin Donuts execs in the US issued an apology and expressed that they were ashamed of the ad.

To see the ad yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why do advertisers need to be culturally sensitive especially in the era of globalization?

2.  Do you think the ad was inappropriate? Why, or why not?



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