Business your connection to The Boston Globe

The new face of Dunkin' Donuts

Yes, she has detractors, but the chain thinks Rachael Ray's appeal will boost expansion plans


Dunkin' Donuts has a new pitchwoman: TV personality Rachael Ray .

As the Canton chain looks to expand nationally and get beyond its doughnut heritage, Ray's philosophy of better-for-you food seems to make her ideal for the role.

But she has baggage; there are websites where Ray-bashing is blood sport, and some demonize her as a poor person's Martha Stewart .

On one site after Dunkin's disclosure yesterday, someone wrote: "Nooo!!! Pulling ALL my hair out!!"

Still, president Bob Hoffman of Boston ad agency Gearon Hoffman said Dunkin' made a smart choice.

He once explored using Ray in an ad campaign for Crock-Pot that didn't pan out, and he recalled that Ray's personality scores were "off the charts," with her appeal far outweighing any negatives.

Hoffman said of Ray's detractors: "This country is full of unbelievably nasty people. Don't they have anything better to do?"

Dunkin' Donuts brand president Robert Rodriguez said the chain and Ray have "tremendous synergy."

Rodriguez said in a statement, "Rachael's philosophy of creating quality meals quickly and without pretense for busy people living busy lives is the same driving force behind the Dunkin' Donuts brand."