Thursday, December 31, 2009

Haagen-Dazs Guilty of Delicious Accidental Racism in India

When opening the first outlet of your chain of ice cream stores in India here is a hint: Do not use a catch-phrase in advertisements which specifically bars Indians from entering the store. Haagen-Dazs did, and they are in trouble.

According to AdAge, Haagen Dazs hung unfortunate posters in a Delhi mall outside of the company's first Indian outlet. The posters tried to strike a cosmopolitan note with a reference to the French Riviera and the words "Exclusive Preview for International Travellers. Access restricted only to holders of international passports."

Whoops! No Indians allowed! After an angry blogger picked up the story, complete with an anecdote of a friend being turned away from the store, Haagen-Dazs was forced to issue an apology: The message was intended to suggest that you can enjoy, for instance, a taste of the French Riviera without traveling to France — by enjoying Haagen-Dazs.

Unfortunately, the reference to the international-passport holder on the poster may have led to a significant miscommunication." To be fair, Haagen-Dazs is in the ice cream business—not the not-being-accidental-racists-business. Ice cream. Delicious, delicious ice cream.


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