CINNAMON “NUN BUN” ADS WITHDRAWN
Catalyst July/August Issue 1997, Front Page
Following a protest by the Catholic League, Cinnabon, the national chain of food stores that sells cinnamon buns, recently withdrew all of its ads that featured a nun character. And Bongo Java, the creator of the cinnamon bun which resembles Mother Teresa, has halted production of its bun.
The Cinnabon ads featured an elderly stern-looking nun in a habit brandishing a ruler; she had rosary beads draped around her neck. The ads were pulled June 15 from some 350 stores around the country.
After receiving several complaints from league members about the Cinnabon ad, Dr. Donohue wrote to the president of the company, Dennis Waldron, asking him to retire the offending ads. Waldron called Donohue and listened to his complaint, explaining that he would get back to him within a few days. He was courteous and concerned.
When they spoke next, Waldron pledged that the ads would all be withdrawn. In business for 12 years, Waldron said he had never experienced any type of bad publicity and was not about to start now. Donohue was impressed with Waldon’s sincere and professional manner, as well as with his decision.
In the Bongo Java case, the league previously pressed the company to stop production of its cinnamon bun that bears a likeness to Mother Teresa; we also objected to the T-shirts, mugs, etc. The official word from Bongo Java, as determined by reading its web site statement and by phoning the company, is that production of the “Mother Teresa” bun has stopped. Yet the website still sells some of the items that the league found objectionable.
The league is pleased that Mother Teresa and her lawyers appealed to Bongo Java to stop production of the bun, as well as the other items. But much of the credit in this case must be given to Catholic League members themselves.
The April Catalyst ran a story about this issue and listed the name and address of someone to contact. Well, league members did just that: when we phoned the company, we were told that “tons of letters” were sent taking Bongo Java to task.
The league is delighted with the results in both cases and is especially delighted that its members played such a vital role in the Bongo Java case.