Dunkin' Donuts has apologized for the "insensitivity" of an advertising campaign in Thailand featuring a woman in blackface makeup to promote a new chocolate flavored doughnut.
The Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Thailand came under criticism Friday after Human Rights Watch called the advertisements "bizarre and racist." The company's chief executive in Thailand initially defended the campaign, but the U.S. headquarters quickly followed up with an apology.
"We are working with our Thailand franchisee to immediately pull the ad. DD recognizes the insensitivity of this spot," Dunkin' Donuts said in a tweet posted on its official U.S. website after complaints erupted on Twitter, in a variety of blogs and in mainstream American media.
The local franchise launched the advertisement earlier this month to promote its new "Charcoal Donut." In posters, TV commercials and on Facebook, the campaign shows a smiling woman with blackface makeup, bright pink lipstick and a jet black 1950s-style beehive hairdo holding up a bitten black doughnut. The slogan in Thai reads: "Break every rule of deliciousness."