PR Disaster: donut-maker dunked by jihad allegations

A coolatta skim, marble frosted donut and a Palestinian kaffiyeh, please.PC and stakeholder sensitivity are running riot at a donut shop near you. As the Int Herald Tribune explains:

‘The Dunkin’ Donuts chain has pulled an online advertisement featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray after critics argued that that a scarf she wore in the ad offers symbolic support for terrorism. Dunkin’ Donuts said Wednesday it pulled the ad over the weekend because of what it calls a “misperception” about the scarf that detracted from its original intent to promote its iced coffee. Critics complained that the scarf appeared to be traditional garb worn by Arab men. The ad’s critics say such scarves have come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism. Dunkin’ Donuts says the black-and-white scarf that Ray wore had a paisley design, and was selected by a stylist for the advertising shoot. The chain says no symbolism was intended.

I dunno about you guys, but a PR even having to explain that ‘no symbolism was intended’ in this case seems sorta ‘extreme’. Also, not many of the reports say that this ‘look’ of scarf was v popular amongst hippy-ish students when I was studying PR and Comms in the UK aeons ago.

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