Krispy Kreme Issues Apology for Inadvertently Displaying Offensive Term in Latest Ad Campaign: ‘No Intent to Cause Offense’

pink doughnut on white textile

– Krispy Kreme issued an apology for its new campaign featuring an offensive racial slur.

– The campaign, created by creative agency Abel in collaboration with Limehouse Production, aimed to promote Krispy Kreme doughnuts for major celebrations.

– It included four spots where doughnuts replaced the letter “o” in words like “footy,” “movie,” and “hooray,” but one spot briefly spelled “c–ngrats” using the offensive slur.

– The video featuring the offensive content is no longer available on YouTube.

– The campaign was distributed across various digital platforms, out-of-home advertising, and in-store media.

– Krispy Kreme ANZ Marketing Director Olivia Sutherland issued an apology, stating they never intended to offend anyone and had removed all congratulations-related ads from the campaign.

– Australia’s advertising watchdog, Ad Standards, confirmed it had not received complaints but would investigate if any were submitted.

– Anti-racism campaigner Stephen Hagan criticized the campaign, expressing disappointment that such a slur was included in a promotional campaign.

– Hagan was involved in the campaign to rename the Coon cheese brand to “Cheer” in 2021 due to concerns about racism.

– Krispy Kreme’s campaign aimed to encourage Australians to pick up a box of doughnuts for major celebrations and was created in collaboration with Abel and Limehouse Production.

– Abel co-founder and creative director Simon Fowler expressed enthusiasm for working on the campaign and highlighting the joy of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in social gatherings.

Original Source: Krispy Kreme apologizes for accidentally showing slur in new ad campaign (

Now, let’s look at the origin of the word “coon”:

coon (n.)
popular abbreviation of raccoon, 1742, American English. It was the nickname of Whig Party members in U.S. c. 1848-60, as the raccoon was the party’s symbol, and it also had associations with frontiersmen (who stereotypically wore raccoon-skin caps), which probably ultimately was the source of the Whig Party sense (the party’s 1840 campaign was built on a false image of wealthy William Henry Harrison as a rustic frontiersman).
The now-insulting U.S. meaning “black person” was in use by 1837, said to be from barracoon (by 1837), from Portuguese barraca “slave depot, pen or rough enclosure for black slaves in transit in West Africa, Brazil, Cuba.” If so, no doubt this was boosted by the enormously popular blackface minstrel act Zip Coon (George Washington Dixon) which debuted in New York City in 1834. But it is perhaps older (one of the lead characters in the 1767 colonial comic opera “The Disappointment” is a black man named Raccoon).
Also, in Western U.S., “a person” generally, especially a sly, knowing person (1832). Coon’s age is 1843, American English, probably an alteration of British a crow’s age. (Crows are famously long-lived. Compare Greek tri-koronos “long-lived,” literally “having three times the age of a crow.” But raccoons are not.) Gone coon (1839) was used of a person who is in a very bad way or a hopeless condition.

coon | Etymology, origin and meaning of coon by etymonline

All I’m saying here is that too many people feign offense. If the word is used in a malicious manner, then yes, be offended because that’s the way it was intended. In this instance, however, I see no need for an apology because “coongrats” should not be offensive to anyone. It is not a slur, racial or otherwise.

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