Monday, September 2, 2013

Nadim Salhani and the Dunkin Donuts fiasco

.... Not only are we Lebanese with horrible values, but we also export them wherever we go. Case in point:
Like everyone else interested in advertising, I saw all the headlines that Dunkin Donuts in Thailand generated by using a model and painting her face black to advertise their "charcoal donuts." The model turned out to be the daughter of Nadim Salhani, the CEO of Mudman Limited Co. - which is the company being the representatives of Dunkin Donuts in Thailand. Despite not being black myself, it was obvious that the racial undertones (and overtones) were all over the ad. Actually it takes a blind person - or a Lebanese - not to notice them.
However, Nadim Salhani, the Lebanese-naturalized-Thai CEO who runs Mudman Company Limited said to the Christian Science Monitor that the "[criticism was] paranoid American thinking." Then adding: "It's absolutely ridiculous, we're not allowed to use black to promote our doughnuts? I don't get it. What's the big fuss? What if the product was white and I painted someone white, would that be racist?"
In a recent tweet Mr. Salhani told of his excitement of seeing Earth Wind and Fire live on stage after growing up to their music. I am under the impression that he was also listening to the Rolling Stones "Paint in black" as well during that same formative period.
Bottom line: You can take the Lebanese out Lebanon, but you cannot take Lebanon (and its skewed moral values) out of the Lebanese!

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