(Bloomberg) -- Users of KFC’s app in Germany received a notification on Wednesday to purchase a menu item as a promotion for Kristallnacht, a series of Nazi pogroms against German Jews. The company blamed an error in an automated process.
The notification, which called on customers to treat themselves to cheese with their crispy chicken “in commemoration of Kristallnacht,” was shared through multiple screenshots on Twitter as users complained about the insensitive nature of the promotion.
In a statement Wednesday, KFC Germany said the message stemmed from a semiautomated process that linked calendar items, such as holidays and days of commemoration, to promotional content. “This led the unauthorized message to be disseminated by mistake,” the Yum! Brands Inc. unit said. The company added that, as a result, it has stopped notifications and is reviewing the processes and control mechanisms within the app.
“We emphasize that it was in no way our intention to trivialize the seriousness and historical significance of Kristallnacht or to hurt victims or their descendants,” KFC said.
On Nov. 9, 1938, Jewish homes, establishments and synagogues in Germany were destroyed in a night of pogroms organized by the Nazi government that came to be known as Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass. The event is more commonly called Reichspogromnacht in Germany today.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.