Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ben & Jerry's Public Relations No-No

So I caught the headline "Ben & Jerry's sorry for Irish "Black & Tan" upset", and didn't actually read the article. They named a new flavor of ice cream "Black & Tan." I thought people were upset because it promoted beer consumption, or that the flavor's name was offensive to minorities, black and tan minorities.

Today I went ahead and read the article. Turns out I'm just stupid. Black & Tans are a violent militia group.
The Black and Tans, so-called because of their two-tone uniforms, were recruited in the early 1920s to bolster the ranks of the police force in Ireland as anti-British sentiment grew.

They quickly gained a reputation for brutality and mention of the militia still arouses strong feelings in Ireland.

"I can't believe that Ben & Jerry's would be so insensitive to call an ice cream such a name and to launch it as a celebration of Irishness ... it's an insult!" wrote one blogger on

I was completely ignorant on this subject. Don't get me wrong, I've totally seen "Braveheart" and am aware of the tension between Irish and Brits, I'm just not complete up to date on all the specifics.

In any case, I applaud Ben & Jerry for addressing this PR gaffe and apologizing for their insensitivity.

That said, when are they going to discontinue their Confederate Crunch flavor?


Erik said...

Mmm...Conferate Crunch, a creamy vanilla with a swirl of caramel seccession and a healthy sprinkling of rascism.

Fredtimbo said...

"Any reference on our part to the British Army unit was absolutely unintentional . . . ," said a Ben & Jerry's spokesman.


Controversy sells. Just another lame, stupid publicity stunt.

Clinton Freeman said...

I don't see what's the big deal.
Just make a really, really, low fat version for those on hunger strikes and include a recipe that uses the Black and Tan ice cream to make Bloody Sundaes.

Tim said...

Clinton wins.