‘We Are Sorry for the Oversight’: Krispy Kreme Apologizes for Australian Campaign That Seems to Have Accidentally Used a Racially Derogatory Term

Public outrage has caused popular doughnut franchise Krispy Kreme to issue an apology due to its offensive campaign that inadvertently contained a highly offensive racial term.

Krispy Kreme ANZ, the Australian division of the global company, partnered with Limehouse Production and creative agency Abel for this campaign that urged Aussies to enhance cherished moments when they buy one of their doughnuts.

Offensive Krispy Kreme Ad
Krispy Kreme ANZ, the Australian division of the global company, partnered with Limehouse Production and creative agency Abel for this campaign. (Khoa’s World/YouTube screenshot)

The playful initiative aimed to evoke emotions by centering the Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the middle of life events like sporting events, birthday parties, and other big days. They thought to do this by replacing ‘o’ with doughnuts in selected words like “footy” and “movie” as a lighthearted approach to these celebrations of life’s joys.


In one instance, the advertisers turned “congrats” into “coongrats” and then “cooongrats.” Historically, the word “coon” has been a racial slur for African-Americans.

Once the people started to complain, the corporation took note. On Tuesday, Aug. 22, Krispy Kreme’s marketing director, Olivia Sutherland, released an official statement.


“We never intended to offend any person or group. We are sorry for the oversight and have removed all congratulations related ads from the campaign,” she said in a statement to Mumbrella.

The company was proactive at the slightest sign of outrage, even though Ad Standards did not receive any official complaints about the campaign.  

Krispy Kreme wiped clean the ad with the offensively remixed words from digital, out-of-home advertising, in-store media, and social media, including taking the video off of YouTube. Sutherland said the company wanted the campaign to remind them of the key points of their brand and not create racial tension.

“Our latest campaign is set to remind consumers that our ‘made fresh daily’ doughnuts are perfect for sharing occasions whether it be a birthday, a family movie night, watching your fav sports team, or simply getting your mates together for a backyard BBQ, a dozen Krispy Kreme is sure to sweeten the moment,” she stated.

However, anti-racism activist Dr. Stephen Hagan is shocked that no one caught the racial slur earlier.

“As the originator of changing the Coon Cheese brand to Cheer, it’s an absolute disgrace that in 2023, someone thinks they can come up with an… ad like that on a product that is very popular with people of color,” he said.

He added, “The word has put my family and my people through so much trauma, and it’s just disgraceful to see this happening.”

Hagan’s efforts encouraged the Australian brand “Cheer” to eliminate the term “coon” from its cheese due to its offensive connotations, according to the NY Post.

Originally linked to Edward William Coon’s cheese-ripening method, Kraft Australia’s Red Coon cheese had no association with him or the technique. Introduced in 1931, many believed the racial slur tainted the brand’s message, raising concerns about its use.

Once a new Canadian owner took the helm of the cheese and reviewed the concerns, it changed the name to “Cheers.” This move prompted outrage from customers who protested and vowed to boycott, believing the brand had succumbed to “cancel culture” and “political correctness gone mad.”

The brand did not fold under pressure, standing by its decision to change the name.

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