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?????"
People cried foul over what they perceived was racist.
Others were furious about an overly sensitized public.
Others laughed over the ridiculous accusation.
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.
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?