The popular U.S. donut chain Krispy Kreme was forced to apologize Tuesday after one of its branches in the U.K. advertised a new series of children’s events called “KKK Wednesdays.”
The ill-advised national campaign was meant to be “a series of planned events for children during a week-long break from school,” the Hull Daily Mail reported.
It didn’t take long for people to point out that the “Krispy Kreme Klub” abbreviation evoked the Ku Klux Klan once the donut chain posted the event on its Facebook page. The post was later deleted.
A Krispy Kreme location in Hull, England also rented a billboard displaying the unsavory name for the events, according to the Hull Daily Mail.
“This was sent from head office so it has been advertised at all the outlets,” a spokesperson for the Hull location told the British newspaper. “But we have now taken down the sign from our point of sale.”
The spokesperson added that the campaign would go ahead this week even though it needed a new name. But the company continued to catch flak on Facebook even after removing the “KKK” portion of the promotion:
Krispy Kreme offered a formal apology Tuesday night.
“Krispy Kreme apologises unreservedly for the inappropriate name of a customer promotion at one of our stores,” the company said, as quoted by the Hull Daily Mail. “This promotion was never intended to cause offence. All material has been withdrawn and an internal investigation is currently under way.”
The Guardian also obtained the same apology.
This post has been updated.