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How A Krispy Kreme Marketing Idea Went Horribly Wrong

krispy kreme donuts

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a well-known sweet treat, usually seen in offices around the world when staff need a boost or a reward.

The product is a massive success, but that doesn't mean it has been smooth sailing since its launch way back in 1937.

One famous incident happened in the City of Hull in Yorkshire back in 2015, when a presumably well-intentioned marketing idea went very wrong indeed.

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The branch came for some seriously bad publicity when it introduced a new scheme called "Krispy Kreme Klub Wednesdays."

Having decided on the offer, it was then decided to abbreviate it to KKK Wednesdays.

For anyone who doesn't know, the acronym KKK is more famously associated with an American white supremacist group - the notorious Klu Klux Klan.

The Klu Klux Klan is one of the most infamous hate groups in the US.

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The SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) said in 2015: “Although black Americans have typically been the Klan’s primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics."

The company received numerous complaints after advertising the scheme on Facebook.

The idea was actually just to create a week-long scheme to entice kids into the shop for a week during the half-term school holidays.

Krispy Kreme moved quickly to stop the scheme and take down the advertising.

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Apology and withdrawal

“Krispy Kreme apologises unreservedly for the inappropriate name of a customer promotion at one of our stores,” a spokeswoman for Krispy Kreme told the Guardian.

A Krispy Kreme spokeswoman told the Hull Daily Mail: “This promotion was never intended to cause offence. All material has been withdrawn and an internal investigation is currently underway.”

It was decided the scheme would continue, but the controversial name was changed.

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