Disturbing Ice Cream Mascot in Florida Scares Customers Away

ice cream coneCall me crazy, but it would seem that the whole point of having an employee of an ice cream shop dress up like an ice cream cone and stand in a busy intersection is to promote your business and sell more ice cream. But at an ice cream shop in Central Florida, the marketing tactic is having the adverse effect: It's actually scaring customers away.

That's because the white-hooded ice cream cone mascot (click link above for a photo) for Ice Cream Family Corner and Sandwiches resembles a certain member of a white supremacist group more than it does an actual sweet treat. As you can imagine, local residents aren't too happy about the fact that it appears a Ku Klux Klan member is beckoning to passengers and hawking ice cream on the corner in their town.

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Can you think of anything that could be worse for business -- especially in a place that's notorious for having a number of active KKK chapters? Here's one person's reaction:

... a co-worker was so frightened by the white dollop patrolling the street corner that she called her husband crying and refused to drive through the intersection.

And she isn't the only one! Several residents have reported that they steer clear of the store because they're scared of the mascot (which, reportedly, up close looks exactly like an ice cream cone but from far away looks like a menacing hooded figure). The irony, of course, is that the owners of the ice cream shop are from Puerto Rico and had never heard of the KKK. They've since retired the mascot and clarified he was not KKK, saying, "We're not [racist]. We're very friendly, very religious."

Okay. Still it sounds like they would do well to get a history book and invest in a get-up that is more delicious- and creamy-looking rather than disturbing.

 

Image via neil conway/Flickr

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