Worst Publicity Disasters

Friday, Aug 28, 2020, 7:21 pm
By:Tony Williams


This is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, so it is a genuinely jaw dropping event when somebody at the top of the company says that up to 90% of their drugs only work in up to 50% of the people taking them. How can they then feel as if people have confidence in their products with this rather shocking revelation.

GlaxoSmithKline-Worst Publicity Disasters


In 2005, the boss of Verizon not only managed to damage the reputation of their products, but he also managed to be abusive about their customers at the same time. First he spoke about their phone not working in the house, but then followed it up by being abusive about his customers and in a round about kind of way called them stupid. Way to go!

Verizon-Worst Publicity Disasters


Banks are always guilty of harassing you to take out credit so they can make money, but the chief executive of Barclays bank in the UK made the mistake of abusing one of their very own products. He argued that he would stay away from their credit card because it was so expensive, so what does that tell you when the guy at the top would not even use it?

Barclays-Worst Publicity Disasters


This UK company suffered after their chief decided to give some abuse to their target market. You wonder what he thought he would achieve by doing this, but you can guarantee that he did not expect their sales to drop by 4.5% as a direct result.

Topman-Worst Publicity Disasters

5.Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network decided to do some promotion by posting these rather strange looking symbols around Boston. The only problem was that people thought they were bombs and it led to the police searching the city for them as they had wires hanging out and tape.

Cartoon Network-Worst Publicity Disasters

6.Department of Defense

This image is actually real and you wonder about the US government actually putting up an image of a plane flying low over this particular city. The fact that this was real and not photoshopped makes it even worse and it was no surprise that they were slated for it by everybody.

Department of Defense-Worst Publicity Disasters

7.Kenneth Cole

The uprising in Egypt was a major event in the world. However, Kenneth Cole tried to jump onto this particular bandwagon by claiming it was because they had seen his new products. This was a disaster because people were being killed in riots, so it was seen as being rather insensitive to say the least.

Kenneth Cole-Worst Publicity Disasters

8.American Apparel

This was absolutely crazy. Basically, this company tried to take advantage of Hurricane Sandy by putting on a special sale in case anybody was a bit bored during the storm. They were seen as being extremely insensitive and quite rightly they ended up losing customers as people were just stunned at how stupid they were being.

American Apparel-Worst Publicity Disasters

9.Susan Boyle

The problem for Susan Boyle was nothing to do with her, but rather a PR department that gave her the hash tag #susanalbumparty because lets face it you are going to read that as something completely different from Susan Album Party. This hash tag was sent to millions of people in a short period of time, so there was no way for it to be covered up by the record company.

Susan Boyle-Worst Publicity Disasters

10.Smoking helps?

The company Philip Morris Tobacco amazingly tried to claim that smoking helps the economy in the Czech Republic. Their claim was that because you could die earlier, then you were less of a financial burden on the state as you would not be ill for years and of course they make money from tax.

Smoking helps?-Worst Publicity Disasters

11.Abercrombie & Fitch

The problem that they had was that they tried to change the type of people that shopped at their stores. To do this they asked a particular star of Jersey Shore to stop wearing their products as they felt he was bringing the wrong people in. The result was their sales dropping by a huge amount.

Abercrombie & Fitch-Worst Publicity Disasters

12.Gerald Ratner

This was a UK businessman in charge of a massive jewelry company who basically said that even he would not buy their products as they were rubbish. In next to no time the entire company collapsed as people just refused to shop there, so ultimately it was a major PR disaster.

Gerald Ratner-Worst Publicity Disasters



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