Want to promote your organization with some custom M&M's? You'll need to make sure your cause is "fun" and "celebratory" — and knives apparently don't make the cut.
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Mars Chocolate North America
The M&M's company confirmed that it declined an order for custom candies from a knife advocacy group because of the word "knife."
“MY M&M's® made the decision to not print the customized order because it contained the word 'knife,' which is not in keeping with the fun, celebratory nature of our brand," a company representative told TheBlaze.
It started last month when Doug Ritter, founder of the Knife Rights Foundation, placed an order for custom M&M's to promote his cause: 1,000 units of red, white and blue chocolate candies inside packages stamped with his foundation's logo.
Ritter was shocked, he said, when the company refused to fill the order, telling him the word knife was not "family-friendly."
"Boy Scouts use them, Girl Scouts use them, every single family in America has knives in the kitchen and at some point they teach their kids how to use them," Ritter told TheBlaze. "[Knives are] man's oldest tool."
But refusing the order wasn't the only issue, Ritter said. After he was told over the phone that the company wouldn't fill the order, he asked for email confirmation of the decision to cancel. That's when he got a different response: a representative said Ritter himself had called it off.
"[My wife and I] asked for a confirmation in writing of what [the customer service representative] had told us, but when that was not forthcoming, we sent an email to him confirming the conversation we had and asking the company to correct anything that wasn't factually correct," Ritter said. "Shortly thereafter, [a] supervisor, Kathy, called. We had a similar conversation with her, to no avail, and again asked that they confirm that they were rejecting the order for the reasons both [the customer service representative] and she provided, that 'knife' was not 'family-friendly.' Instead we received a totally disingenuous email."
That email pinned the cancellation on Ritter instead of M&M's.
"That's when they stepped over the line," Ritter told TheBlaze. "Not taking responsibility, the intellectual dishonesty."
An M&M's representative did not comment on the disparity.
Because of the treatment, Ritter said, he won't be purchasing products from Mars, the company that owns the M&M's brand, and he sent an email to knife rights supporters to that effect.
"Come Halloween this year our family will carve our pumpkins using several different knives," Ritter said in the email, "but instead of giving the children who come to our front door M&M's, Snickers and Milky Ways, as we have for many years, they will be given a treat that will not bear the Mars, Inc. brand."
Ritter said he's disappointed in M&M's, and he's willing to reconcile if the company would treat him respectfully and print his foundation's logo.
"We would be overjoyed if M&M's and Mars came to their senses," Ritter said. "The ball's in their court."
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