In the biggest mistake in advertising since a Rhode Island sports bar and grill believed making use of “Anne Frank” and “ovens” in the same sentence was hilarious, Kentucky Fried Chicken's German division had to apologize for an automated promo message it sent out to its customers of its app in Germany. The message made reference to Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), the day that marked the start of the Holocaust in 1938, as if it were a holiday. The Washington Post wrote:
On Wednesday, the 84th commemoration of those brutal riots, KFC Germany sent out push notifications to users of the fried chicken chain’s app. The notification suggested that for the “[c]ommemoration of the Reich pogrom night,” customers could “[f]eel free to add more tender cheese to the crispy chicken,” according to a Google translation of the original message. “Now at KFCheese.”
How do you say oops in German?
Before diving into this mess, here is a brief background lesson. Kristallnacht was a retaliation for the murder of a German diplomat in Parish by a Polish Jewish student on November 7th in 1938. Nazi officials took advantage of the occasion to promote “unplanned” riots featuring violence against German Jews. This also meant that all local police received telegrams stating that they were not to be involved in any attack against Jews or property owned by Jews. In addition, fire departments were told to not attempt to put out fires in synagogues, but instead, they should concentrate their efforts at any Aryan-owned nearby structures.
For two days and two nights of violence between November 9th and 10 in 1938, 91 Jews were killed. Synagogues were burned across the nation. Massive vandalism against Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and even cemeteries took place. Thirty thousand German Jewish men were detained and sent off to concentration camps. This was, as it was stated, the start of the Holocaust.
We can't ignore issues like this. They should be taught in classrooms and debated in public. They are a reminder of how even normal people can, with adequate propaganda, be influenced to believe that turning their backs on their fellow citizens in such an inhumane way is an act of the noble and righteous application of God's will or a legitimate religious superiority claim. In case anyone thinks that such atrocities are not possible today, the Rwandan massacre of 1994 and atrocities perpetrated by the Taliban are proof of the contrary.
Regarding the KFC mistake, the company blamed a lack of focus on an event on the calendar as the reason for the error.
On November 9, an automated push notification was accidentally issued to KFC app users in Germany that contained an obviously unplanned, insensitive and unacceptable message and for this we sincerely apologize. We use a semi-automated content creation process linked to calendars that include national observances. In this instance, our internal review process was not properly followed, resulting in a non-approved notification being shared. We have suspended app communications while we examine our current process to ensure such an issue does not occur again. We understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and remain committed to equity, inclusion and belonging for all.
Good, they remembered all the woke terminology.
Really, how bad at your job must you be to allow this to occur? What's next? Lunchtime exclusive for religious Muslims during Ramadan? Naturally, that wasn’t meant to mock Muslims. But could a mistake like this be made? It's unlikely. If this were to take place in the future, each KFC in Germany will be closed the next day as every politician screamed about the insensitivity and racism, and on and on. Dozens of Jews killed 84 years ago, on the day commemorating the beginning of the mass murder of six million over the next seven years, is a great time to have chicken sandwiches. And we'll issue an apologetic press release.
Perhaps KFC Germany might be able to employ Kyrie Irving, with his newly discovered free time, to become the brand's spokesperson.