I love Dunkin’ Donuts, especially the jelly-filled Munchkins and their creamy coffee. But their crisis PR team may want to switch to decaf.
The jittery donut chain this week yanked an advertisement of cooking queen Rachael Ray because she wore a scarf that resembled a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arabic men.
Huh? Talk about going off the deep end.
Do you really think the mastermind who whips up 30-minute meals could be secretly communicating her support for terrorism through her wardrobe?
As readers know by now, Fox News contributor and conservative blogger Michelle Malkin threw a fit over the scarf and ignited the blogosphere into a frenzy. Dunkin relented, telling reporters: “Given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.”
Would this have happened 10 years ago? Probably not. A blurb about the PR fiasco would be buried in yesterday's news briefs. But today, it only takes a gripe about a scarf to send the blogosphere into a tizzy.
Just because a conservative columnist gripes about an advertisement doesn’t mean a communications team should rush into crisis mode.
Does the chain really think that Ray was sympathizing with terrorists through a piece of black-and-white fabric in a coffee ad? And since when does a traditional headdress support terrorism?
Come on, get real.
Maybe Dunkin’ Donuts worried about offending its audience of right-wingers. If so, then job well done. Malkin can now eat her donut without worrying about a terrorist connection.
"It's refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists,” Malkin said in her column.
I wonder what Rachael thinks about this PR fiasco. When the coffee and baked goods chain announced in March 2007 it was teaming up with Ray, she praised the company in the same press release, saying “everyone always asks me how I manage my schedule, and the answer is coffee.”
I look forward to the next ad to see what Rachael will be wearing. I doubt she'll have a scarf.