6. Pepsi Trivializes Protests
5. Lululemon Founder Blames Women's Thighs for Pilling
4. Dove's "Diversity" Ad
3, 2, 1 ???

#PublicRelations #PR #PRcrisis" /> 6. Pepsi Trivializes Protests
5. Lululemon Founder Blames Women's Thighs for Pilling
4. Dove's "Diversity" Ad
3, 2, 1 ???

#PublicRelations #PR #PRcrisis" />

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Top 10 Worst PR Mistakes Made By Companies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Top 10 Worst PR Mistakes Made By Companies

Some companies have amazing products, but they don't always have amazing PR. Sometimes they make mistakes that can sometimes require an apology at best and destroy careers at worst. In this list, we have the top 10 times companies made terrible mistakes in their advertising, or when a CEO said something controversial, and much more. Let us know which one you find the worst. Did we forget any? Let us know in the comments.

List rank and entries:
10. Nestle
9. Ghettopoly Sold by Urban Outfitters
8. McDonald's McAfrika
7. H&M's "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle"
6. Pepsi Trivializes Protests
5. Lululemon Founder Blames Women's Thighs for Pilling
4. Dove's "Diversity" Ad
3, 2, 1 ???

#PublicRelations #PR #PRcrisis
Transcript
Top 10 Worst PR Mistakes Made by Companies

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity. These blunders prove otherwise. Welcome to Context TV, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 worst PR mistakes made by companies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most notorious, disastrous public relations moves ever made by major, well-known companies.

#10: Nestlé CEO Says Water Should Be Privatized

You can see how arguing that water isn’t a basic human right could cause a little bit of controversy. The internet exploded in a fury in 2005 when Peter Brabeck-Letmathe , then Nestlé’s CEO, called the right to water “extreme”, and called for privatization. Naturally, his opinion was immediately condemned, and Nestlé’s reputation suffered as a result. Brabeck-Letmathe later clarified that he believes that water should be a human right, but water used for aesthetics and recreation – like filling a swimming pool or washing a car – is not and should come at a price. Regardless, Nestlé’s reputation was permanently soured.

#9: Ghettopoly Sold by Urban Outfitters

This Monopoly parody caused just as much controversy as you’d expect. Released in 2002, “Ghettopoly” featured “pimp” and “ho” player tokens, properties like liquor stores and a pawn shop, and replaced taxation squares with police shakedown squares. And, yes, you could even build crack houses. Before the inevitable backlash, which labelled it racist and offensive, it was available at Urban Outfitters, as well as a number of other retailers. Many naturally associated the game with Hasbro, the owners of Monopoly, who eventually sued creator David Chang. Black clergymen also called for a boycott of Urban Outfitters. With their tarnished reputation on the line, Urban Outfitters pulled Ghettopoly from its shelves.

#8: McDonald’s McAfrika

McDonald’s decision to sell a hamburger inspired by one of the poorest, hungriest parts of the world to one of the richest countries in the world did more than raise eyebrows. Released exclusively in Norway in 2002, McDonald’s McAfrika contained beef, cheese, and tomatoes on pita bread, which they claimed was based on a real African recipe. McDonald’s came under immediate fire for the meal’s name, and because it was released when many areas of Africa were experiencing a major famine. Not only did McDonald’s not end the promotion, however, they re-launched it for the 2008 Beijing Olympics . . . and saw it draw a similar response.

#7: H&M’s “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”

If there’s one thing we’re going to learn from this list, it’s that some companies really need a better sense of the world around them. Like, perhaps, when H&M released an ad in the UK that showed a black child wearing a hoodie with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” emblazoned on the front. Somehow no one involved with the ad managed to foresee the offense that such an image might generate, and it landed H&M in a lot of hot water on social media. If that wasn’t enough, H&M stores in South Africa were heavily vandalized, resulting in riot police being called to quell the violence.

#6: Pepsi Trivializes Protests

Even massive companies like Pepsi aren’t immune to a little PR disaster now and then. The beverage giant found itself in trouble in early 2017 when it released an advertisement starring Kendall Jenner. In the commercial, Jenner leaves a photo shoot, joins a protest, and seemingly unites everyone with a can of Pepsi. Many activists criticized the ad for trivializing and exploiting social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, and it received further condemnation when Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter tweeted “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” Pepsi eventually apologized and pulled the commercial.

#5: Lululemon Founder Blames Women’s Thighs for Pilling

Sometimes just one person can cause big trouble for a brand. While appearing on Bloomberg TV, Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson explained that some women’s bodies simply don’t work for their yoga pants, as pilling tends to result when thighs rub together. In other words, countered critics, you can’t wear their yoga pants if you’re too fat. Social media erupted in a fury and called for Wilson’s blood, causing Wilson to post an apology video on Facebook. However, many felt that the apology didn’t directly address the issue at hand, and that Wilson simply dug himself, and Lululemon, into an even deeper hole.

#4: Dove’s “Diversity” Ad

Dove has been around for decades, but the company found itself in the hottest water of its life in 2017. Attempting to celebrate diversity, they created an ad for body lotion in which women of various ages and backgrounds transitioned into one another. However, the shortened clip posted to Facebook showed a black woman becoming a white woman, who then became a light-skinned Asian woman. This created a firestorm on social media, with many interpreting it to mean that the black woman was “cleansing” her identity to become white. Dove apologized, but critics remained unconvinced, calling the ad tone deaf at best.

#3: You Survived the Boston Marathon!

Context is everything. Sportswear giant Adidas sponsored the Boston Marathon in 2017, and following the event sent participants an email titled “You survived the Boston Marathon!”. While many people understood the congratulatory tone behind the statement, given that it occurred only four years after the bombing that took the lives of three people and injured more than 260, the company was also criticized for their poor choice of words, which many saw as insensitive. Adidas was quick to apologize, stating that there was “no thought” given to the subject line. Clearly.

#2: KKK Wednesday

Yep, it’s another case of “what were they even thinking?” A UK branch of Krispy Kreme found itself in some serious trouble when it advertised a promotion titled KKK Wednesday. The title was meant to stand for Krispy Kreme Klub Wednesdays, an event meant for children out of school. While their intentions may have been innocent, many associated the promotion with the Ku Klux Klan, one of America’s most infamous hate groups. Krispy Kreme pulled the promotion and launched an internal investigation after incensed customers complained about the name, stating that the promotion “was never intended to cause offense.”

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Asda & Tesco’s Mental Patient Halloween Costume

Cartoon Network Causes a Bomb Scare

Nivea’s “White Is Purity” Ad

#1: Ratner Group CEO Calls His Product “Total Crap”

Not every CEO can pull off the whole “Steve Jobs” thing. Case in point, Gerald Ratner, former CEO of jewellery company the Ratner Group. During a lighthearted speech for the Institute of Directors, Ratner referred to one of his products as “total crap”, and claimed that another was cheaper than a prawn sandwich but wouldn't last as long. The fallout was enormous, as the company's value plummeted by £500 million. Ratner Group’s name was soon changed to Signet Group, and Ratner moved on to start a health club, with the terms “Ratner Effect” and “doing a Ratner” becoming a lasting testament to his legacy.

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