A Florida shop had to scrap its ice cream cone mascot because passers-by thought it looked like a man dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
"We were just trying to get people to come in," store employee Jasmine Gonzalez told CNN affiliate WTSP. "We thought it was something fun for people, but eventually people took it the wrong way."
The Ice Cream Family Corner and Sandwiches shop opened a few months ago in Ocala. The owners hired a man to stand outside the shop dressed in a vanillaÂ ice cream cone costume to attract business.
At first store owners told WTSP they had no idea the outfit was upsetting passers-by,Â but then they noticed a drop in business, and began to wonder what was impacting their sales.
Eventually, Gonzalez said they were tipped off that people were avoiding the shop, because they thought the peaked cap was not an ice cream cone costume, but a KKK robe. The mascot was immediately pulled off the street.
Some customers told WTSP they could understand the confusion, while others laughed at the ordeal.
"They (KKK members) don't color themselves (with sprinkles) like that," Wayne Austin chuckled to WTSP as he looked at the costume.