Disabilities Aren’t Camera Fodder
When your older sisters are internationally famous for their vapidity and their um, assets, it’s hard to imagine setting the bar for tastelessness any lower.
And yet, somehow, Kylie Jenner managed to do just that in an incredibly offensive, exploitative and poorly-conceived cover photo for Interview magazine. Though Gemma Flanagan's response to the cover was nothing short of amazing, it's simply staggering that this got all the way to print without somebody noticing that it was a terrible, terrible idea.
The Polluting People’s Car
Volkswagen has built a reputation for being trustworthy and dependable. A reputation that took a pretty serious hit when it was discovered that they were finding not-so-scrupulous ways to skirt emissions standards tests in North America, and then the rest of the world caught wind of the scandal, and it was bad news all over again.
You know it’s bad when your scandal gets a name, and Dieselgate was no exception. Winning back consumer and shareholder trust is going to be a bumpy ride. To be fair, the company’s response was swift and thorough, but even a great apology is no substitute for, you know, not breaking the rules in the first place.
Animal Rights Activists are a Prickly Bunch
The internet is a pretty unforgiving place, and animal rights activists are known for having a pretty long memory. When your organization’s treatment of a particular mammal is the subject of a widely-viewed documentary that is described as "a gripping example of documentary film-making at its finest,” you should probably not open yourself up to attack on social media any time soon.
You should most definitely not set yourself up for disaster by starting the conversation with a hashtag that invites people to ask questions (#ASkSeaWorld), and then leave those questions unanswered for all the world to see. Anyone with even a hint of PR savvy should have seen that coming from a mile away, but apparently nobody who fits that description works with Sea World.
Watch Those Acronyms!
When your company name is two words, and they both start with the letter K, you should be pretty sensitive to the notion that you’re 2/3 of the way to an infamous and awful acronym. You should certainly NEVER come up with short-form for a promotion that takes you the rest of the way there. Krispy Kreme did just that with their Krispy Kreme Klub promotion. Oh yes they did!
The next time you’re faced with a customer complaint on one of your social media channels, choose your words carefully. But rest easy, no matter how bad it gets, it’s probably not going to be as bad as any of these.
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