Krispy Kreme’s KKK Crisis

Jonathan Bernstein crisis communications, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, crisis public relations, Crisis Response, Erik Bernstein, Jonathan Bernstein, public relations, reputation management, social media Leave a Comment

“We didn’t know” is a weak excuse these days

Krispy Kreme was left apologizing after a store in Hull, England started promoting “KKK Krispy Kreme's KKK CrisisWednesday”. Meant to stand for “Krispy Kreme Klub”, the promotion was shared on the popular doughnut shop’s UK Facebook page and quickly drew shocked reactions from stakeholders, along with a deluge of derision across social media.

USA Today spoke with a Krispy Kreme rep, and shared the below:

“We do believe this was a completely unintentional oversight on the part of our longtime franchise partners in the U.K.,” according to a statement shared with USA TODAY Network by company spokesperson Lafeea Watson.

“We are truly sorry for any inconvenience or offense this misstep may have caused our fans,” the statement says, noting that the Hull location has offered assurances that it would be “taking greater precautions with their publicity materials in the future.”

Watson said in an e-mail that the club was created by the Hull location and designed as a promotion for that store only.

While the KKK hasn’t had a presence in the UK in decades, a quick search would’ve brought up plenty of reasons to switch the promotion’s name up a bit, leading us to believe the shop didn’t do its due diligence before putting out communications.

Remember, even in the most innocuous of situations it’s essential to crisis management that you consider the question “what could go wrong?”, and use the tools at your disposal to identify the answer.

Erik & Jonathan Bernstein

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