Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Surprising and truly unfortunate

If you don’t know this by now, there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock.  Back in May, obnoxious Republican pundit Michelle Malkin caused what she called the “keffiyeh kerfuffle” by accusing Dunkin’ Donuts of promoting pro-Palestinian sentiments by wearing a keffiyeh-ish paisley scarf (Malkin called it “hate couture”).  The Boston Globe accused Malkin of yowling, and Americans everywhere turned out in suprising numbers to disagree with Malkin’s BS (as one commenter on Malkin’s own blog said concisely “Sometimes a scarf is just a scarf…”).

But Dunkin’ Donuts pulled the ad anyway, and then a Chicago Tribune survey indicated that, out of 15,000 Americans, less than 8% actually find the keffiyeh offensive, but I bet Malkin didn’t feel the least bit silly.  They never do.

Yesterday, I wrote an article for Arabisto regarding my decision to boycott Dunkin’ Donuts.  I realized, a month or so late (though during that time I’ve maybe been there twice), that there is absolutely no good reason for me to patronize their stores anymore.  They clearly kowtow to the extreme right, and that’s not my bag.  I wrote them an e-mail as well, informing them of my decision.

I got this response:

Thank you for sharing your comments.  We always appreciate hearing from our customers.  The intent of the online ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing a paisley silk scarf was to promote iced coffee.  Given the surprising and truly unfortunate interpretation of this ad from some of our consumers, we decided to pull the ad and replace it with another as it is no longer serving its intended purpose, which was to simply promote our iced coffee—nothing more, nothing less.

At Dunkin’ Donuts, we value all of our customers and remain steadfastly committed to making your experiences with us both memorable and pleasant.  Thank you, again, for making us aware of your concerns; it is appreciated

Is it me, or does it seem like that was written by a summer intern?  I love how the author describes the reaction as “surprising and truly unfortunate.”  It’s almost subversive.

2 Comments

  1. Weel, they don’t care because you are not huirting them. You are only really hurting the individual small business owner that owns the shop near you. He or she is likely a Muslim.

    The corporate franchisor does not own a single Dunkin’ Donuts shop. They are ALL owned by independent franchisees who are members of the community.

    One thing the corporate parent DOES do is invest millions of dollars in Arab countries. Google Dunkin’ Donuts and, say, U.A.E. , for example.

    While bloggers on the left and cement heads like Malkin use a good commercially trademarked name to draw attention to themselves that they woul never otherwise get, Dunkin goes about actually doing something to help Arab families make a living and propser—a far sight more than just writing or talking about how Arabs need to be protected by a boycott that will take food from their children’s mouths by reducing sales in the shops they own.

    This information is incredibly easy to find and very public, and very true. It simply does not serve a personal agenda. For shame.

  2. Bob,

    Frankly, it doesn’t make a difference. There are plenty of good reasons not to patronize Dunkin’ Donuts that don’t involve their advertising choices: their use of styrofoam, their choice not to pay a livable wage in Boston, or perhaps the fact that they’ve been pushing local businesses out of neighborhoods for decades now?

    Thanks Bob, but you’re not going to convince me of the goodness of eating at Dunkin’, even if you’re right.

    Jillian

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