The acronym was meant to stand for “Krispy Kreme Klub,” but as consumers pointed out, those particular three letters are more commonly associated with the Klu Klux Klan.
According to the now-deleted schedule of the week’s events, “KKK Wednesday” was bookended by “Colouring Tuesday” and “Face Painting Thursday.”
Krispy Kreme hull is advertising KKK Wednesday. I don't know. I do not know. pic.twitter.com/19pXLFxXsw
— BEWARE: Ed Zitron (@edzitron) February 17, 2015
Oh dear. Krispy Kreme in the UK launched their Krispy Kreme Klub for Wednesday. Anyone want a KKK donut?
— vbspurs (@vbspurs) February 17, 2015
The U.S.-based company acted quickly to pull all of the ads from stores and from the Internet Tuesday and issued a statement.
“We are aware of the Hull store’s unfortunate naming choice for its Club program, and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience or offense this misstep may have caused our fans,” Krispy Kreme’s PR manager Lafeea Watson told dBtechno.
“We do believe this was a completely unintentional oversight on the part of our longtime franchise partners in the UK. They have taken quick and appropriate actions to remove the materials online and in-shops, and have wholeheartedly apologised to their consumers.”
On their website, Krispy Kreme published this statement under the headline “We’re sorry”:
Krispy Kreme apologises unreservedly for the inappropriate name of a customer promotion at one of our stores. We are truly sorry for any offence this completely unintentional oversight may have caused. All material, both online and in the store, has been withdrawn and steps are being taken to ensure that greater precautions are taken with publicity materials in the future.
Krispy Kreme Wants You To Celebrate 'KKK Wednesday' And Somewhere An Intern Just Got Fired — http://t.co/gInn0uiGxk
— BroBible (@BroBible) February 17, 2015
The idea was created by the Hull store to attract customers into the shop to decorate doughnuts using the Krispy Kreation Station product.
The advertisement, which was originally posted on Facebook, has since been taken down.