LKY tributes gone wrong: BreadTalk cops flak for LKY-themed bun

Local brand BreadTalk has come under fire on social media for creating a new bun to the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

According to articles on The Mothership and Straits Times, BreadTalk had posted a promotional poster on its social media channels earlier today where it announced the launch of a new bun called “Lee bu kai ni” which means “can’t leave you” - a play on Lee's surname.

The company added that the proceeds from the bun, priced at SG$2, would be donated to Community Chest.

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(Photo courtesy: BreadTalk Facebook page)

A quick check by Marketing shows that the post has since been removed. However, netizens have flared up at the brand saying the move is tasteless and disrespectful. Others have said that this is simply a bad marketing idea and will haunt the brand.

One Jean Cooper said on BreadTalk's Facebook page:

“Dear bread talk, this has really left a bad taste in my mouth. A man like Lee Kuan Yew does not need a piece of bread to commemorate his great deeds. It would have been better if you had given it out to the elderly and infirm who queued for hours in the sun, waiting to pay their last respects. Make this a right and not a wrong please, by doing the right thing.”

Another Nelson Lim said:

“Opportunistic and in bad taste - Bread Talk expects customers to buy the bun, pay $2 and eat it. It doesn’t matter if the money goes to Community Chest. It's a marketing ploy to draw people to Bread Talk cashing in on a sad occasion. This is disrespect to our founding father.”

BreadTalk has since apologised for the product.

A spokesperson told Marketing that it will be ceasing the sale of the product immediately and the original intent was to create a "commemorative product in memory of the late Lee Kuan Yew" , whom the brand deeply respects.

"We would like to convey our deepest apologies with regard to the commemorative bun #rememberingLKY which was introduced at BreadTalk outlets today, 25 March 2015. We regret that this product has caused much concern and appreciate the public's feedback which we take very seriously. [...] As was our original intent to commit 100% of the buns’ sales proceeds to charity,  BreadTalk will still be donating $30,000 to Community Chest,"  said the spokesperson.

"Together with all Singaporeans, the passing of our founding Prime Minister is deeply felt by all of us at BreadTalk.  Nevertheless, we are made aware that this manner of remembering his legacy was insensitive in light of the current context. Once again, we thank Singaporeans for sharing your concerns with us and greatly appreciate your feedback."

Read also:

Singapore brand giants put out sombre branding for LKY tribute
LOOK Tribal Worldwide creates digital installation from tweets on LKY
SPH turns down tribute ads to Lee Kuan Yew

(Photo courtesy: Hardware Zone forums)