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When you think of the ingredients you might find in your favorite donuts charcoal probably does not spring to mind. However Dunkin’ Donuts Thailand are using it as a magic ingredient in a special edition of their donuts.
The company has come out with twenty seven special black donuts that are made from charcoal composed of bamboo and baked bark that has been imported from Europe and in order to promote these dark donuts they have created a fluffy mascot called the Charcoal Bear.
Each donut is priced at 27 baht and according to a report on Bangkok Keizai sales are booming. Whether this line will be launched in other countries remains to be seen.
Previously Dunkin Donuts apologized after it ran an advertisement for the Charcoal range that featured a woman in blackface makeup after it was called bizarre and racist by a leading human rights group.
Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands said “Dunkin’ Donuts recognizes the insensitivity of this spot and on behalf of our Thailand franchisee and our company, we apologize for any offense it caused,” however the CEO for Dunkin’ Donuts in Thailand, which is operated as a franchise, was initially bullish about the marketing. “It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Nadim Salhani. “We’re not allowed to use black to promote our doughnuts? I don’t get it. What’s the big fuss? What if the product was white and I painted someone white, would that be racist?” Salhani said his daughter was the model used in the advert. He dismissed criticism as “paranoid American thinking”, saying: “I’m sorry, but this is a marketing campaign and it’s working very well for us.”
However in light of the new fluffy bear appearing on the campaign it appears they have rethought their branding!