British supermarket chain, Waitrose & Partners, were slammed for an unfortunate label on a box of chocolate ducklings for Easter.
The trio of chocolates comes in three varieties and colors, but Waitrose was forced to pull them from shelves after accusations of the candy being racist.
The white chocolate duckling was called "fluffy," the milk chocolate one was called "crispy," and the dark chocolate was called "ugly," which many interpreted as being "racist."
This Twitter user saw the label and immediately questioned Waitrose's marketing strategy after overhearing a complaint.
"Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly - trio of Easter ducklings at #waitrose . Ugly is the dark one on the right. Overheard women saying "this is not right" , I agree, doesn't look good at all. Thousands of other options... why #ugly?????"
Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly - trio of Easter ducklings at #waitrose . Ugly is the dark one on the right. Overheard wom… https://t.co/upVf2LdH69— livia a. aliberti (@livia a. aliberti)1551975709.0
People cried foul over what they perceived was racist.
@Telegraph Waitrose apologised over "racist" Easter ducks -I mean really - why did they have to call the dark brow… https://t.co/fhh2D4vviX— Anna (@Anna)1554797191.0
@S_Cheek44 100% agree it's utter madness no kid is going to care about the colour of a duck and those people who wo… https://t.co/jkd4cDqH5P— Awesome Nerd (@Awesome Nerd)1554808364.0
Others were furious about an overly sensitized public.
@livia_aliberti Oh ffs really. 🙄🙄🙄— Maynard Catesby (@Maynard Catesby)1554813518.0
@livia_aliberti Fucking moaning, pathetic idiots!! Get a life!!! It's a chocolate duck! for fuck sake! And why woul… https://t.co/Q7N8rWzwRi— Jozif Rimmington (@Jozif Rimmington)1554816719.0
Others laughed over the ridiculous accusation.
@lmclr @livia_aliberti I can’t stop chuckling at this.. she’s offended by a chocolate duck for ducks sake 😂😂😂— Ted (@Ted)1554800668.0
@livia_aliberti Can I have some of your spare time as you seem to have alot of it an I think I could put it to much better use👍— Ross mac (@Ross mac)1554806212.0
@S_Cheek44 People who are actually racist, the ones who see a dark coloured duck and think of race.— Phil B. (@Phil B.)1554800204.0
The grocery chain most likely referenced the "Ugly Duckling" by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen to package their product, but customers missed seeing the association.
In the song, a brown duck is mocked by the other ducklings for looking different from the others.
The lyrics go:
"There once was an ugly duckling, with feathers all stubby and brown, and the other birds said in so many words, get out of town."
The duck later discovers after shedding his brown feathers that he is a beautiful white swan.
Many argued that the reference to the Hans Christian Andersen's song was too obvious to miss.
Please tell me this didn’t happen, has this country gone mad? Who would see this and think anything other than they… https://t.co/kXLlj01CUO— Sarah Cheek (@Sarah Cheek)1554754367.0
Are @waitrose actually having to remove a chocolate Duck for sale because they called it an ugly duckling and people think it's racist— elle_MRSHLL (@elle_MRSHLL)1554791203.0
@livia_aliberti So Hans Christian Andersen and fairytales don't mean anything to you or the 'women' you overheard?… https://t.co/OPSchQlbAh— Carrington Brigham (@Carrington Brigham)1554793549.0
@livia_aliberti Guessing you never heard the tale of the Ugly Duckling. Also the other one is "Ugly" b/c the chocol… https://t.co/g4mMkIUCoG— Quinton Zeller (@Quinton Zeller)1554822054.0
@LouiseMx_ @waitrose I know! What is happening to society! I’m very dark in skin tone and as a child I copped every… https://t.co/Dl5RjmugeG— cwlsn@01 (@cwlsn@01)1554808743.0
@livia_aliberti I find the plight of promoting Albinism as fluffy should be hailed as successful campaign for… https://t.co/FvcMLxko3X— The Special Two (@The Special Two)1554810739.0
@livia_aliberti Its only chocolate get a life!— Steve (@Steve)1554819678.0
A Waitrose spokesperson issued a statement and explained that the stores corrected the issue with all new packaging.
"We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offense. We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labeling and our ducklings are now back on sale."
What a marketing nightmare. It was clearly an honest mistake, but in today's sensitive world, everything is risky. Even "white duck, yellow duck."
What are your thoughts?