Worst PR disasters 2009 – call for entries

Yep, after a lifetime of near-saintly posturing, Tiger W has decided that he wants to win the marketing industry’s most inglorious prize; this site’s annual PR Disaster award. But the man who patently put the wood in Woods faces some stiff competition from a whole host of PR peckerheads including:

Domino’s staff sandwich-making antics; Hey Hey It’s Saturday blackface act; Renault’s Grand Prix fixing fiasco; Aussie Liberals’ Ute-Gate gaffe; Southern Star Observation wheel buckling; Washington Post’s cash-for-influence dinners; UK PM Gordon Brown’s condolence letter; Kraft iSnack 2.0 (the PR disaster that never was); United Airlines Broke My Guitar; Habitat’s Iran Twitter tag; car hire firm NZCRS pursuing dead people’s family on car hire charges; Climate Gate leaked emails; UK MP’s ongoing expenses embarrassment.

What’s your favourite? What’ve I missed? And in case you’re miffed I haven’t hyperlinked all these sources, I will when I can get a break from some urgent client deadlines

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4 thoughts on “Worst PR disasters 2009 – call for entries

  1. Tim Nicholas says:

    The Toyota Yaris social media video from Saatchi and Saatchi. Ubelievably sexist, misogynistic, and puerile. Oh, and not even ‘social media’ as produced by a commercial marketing agency. Complete #fail.

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  2. Callum Tebbut says:

    Yeah, the Yaris ad gets my vote. How many social media, then crisis comms FAILs can one issue raise? Astroturfing, not restricting spokespeople, jumbled retractions. Aaah *sigh*. And when that Micha moron weighed in. Classic. But at least he apologised.

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  3. And several US-specific examples from Fineman PR (via Ragan’s PR Junkie):
    http://blog.ragan.com/prjunkie/2009/12/the_top_10_pr_blunders_of_2009.html

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  4. Lisa Bowman says:

    I’d have to throw in a vote for Horizon Property Management out of Chicago who sued a former tenant (who had something like 10 followers) for tweeting an off-handed comment about mold in her apartment. Instead of only her followers hearing that they had mold issues Horizon’s suit made national news and everyone heard about it.
    And according to this article the judge dismissed it too! http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/01/twitter-mold-libel-defamation-suit-dismissal-cook-county-court.html

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