Parents have expressed outrage over the "racist" design of a limited edition Kinder Egg toy, with one mum saying that she was "sickened". The popular chocolate treat contained a plastic cartoon egg holding three balloons with a "K" stamped on each one.
Kimberley, from Victoria, Australia, said that she immediately felt sick at the thought that her 15-month-son could have played with the toy.
She told parenting website Kidspot: "This is a massive oversight that anyone could have seen."
"It's also hard to find something to say as the initials of Kinder Surprise aren't KKK. It raises questions as to what the company supports and if this is subliminal marketing."
Another woman shared a picture of the toy on Facebook with the comment: "Look what my niece (of mixed race) just found in her Kinder Surprise - KKK... what on earth Kinder?"
The confectionery company, who claim that they never intended the toy to be offensive said that it had been part of the limited edition collection to celebrate 50 years.
Ferrero has said that the stock of toy, which is not available in the UK, has been destroyed and withheld from other markets.
A Ferrero spokesperson said: "We sincerely apologize for any offence caused due to the inference of how the three Ks read together on this toy.
"To offer some explanation of how this toy came to be, initially it was designed with one balloon with a ‘K’ on it. However, two more were added to provide a more robust structure, as the safety and quality of our toys is of the utmost importance,” they said. “We had absolutely no intention to make any other associations and we truly apologize to our consumers for any unintentional offence caused."
"We do not support this organization in any way. The ‘K’ on the balloons was solely meant to represent Kinder. We are revisiting our internal processes to ensure something like this cannot happen again,” the spokesperson concluded.
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