1 - KitchenAid mocks Obama's grandmother
KitchenAid makes a mean mixer and other appliances, but it made a huge mistake by tweeting about President Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential debates. KitchenAid’s official account posted a tweet that implied President Obama’s grandma died because she knew how badly his first term would be (Obama’s grandma passed right before his election in 2008 and he’d mentioned her during one of the 2012 debates). KitchenAid apologized right away and fired an employee that had made the tween from the company account instead of a personal account.
2 - A landlord's Facebook requirements backfire
Tenants of the City Park Apartments told KSL that a “Facebook addendum” showed up taped to their doors Thursday night. The contract required tenants to friend the City Park Apartments on Facebook within five days, or be found in breach of the rental agreement, though some of the tenants already signed a lease agreement months ago. The document also includes a release allowing the apartment to post pictures of tenants and their visitors on the page. Current and potential future tenants were very turned off by the requirements, and potential legal battles are on the horizon.
3 - DiGiorno’s #WhyIStayed debacle
DiGiorno dominates it's pizza segment, and has done quite well with social media in the past, but in 2014, the company mistakenly made light of domestic violence by failing to understand what the #WhyIStayed hashtag was all about. The tweet came across as insensitive to victims of domestic violence, not to mention unintentionally comedic.
4 - MTV Australia too far at the Golden Globes
During the Golden Globes, MTV Australia sent out an astonishingly offensive tweet, asking "Where are the English subtitles?" while America Ferrera and Eva Longoria were on stage. MTV has always pushed the limits of appropriate content, but somehow even this went too far. An expected generic apology followed.
5 - American Apparel celebrated the 4th of July with Space Shuttle Challenger
While known for its edgy ads, even this pushed it. In 2014, American Apparel posted an image of the space shuttle exploding on its Tumblr stream, accompanied by the hashtags #smoke and #clouds, to celebrate the Fourth of July on its Tumblr stream. The company removed the image, but the damage was done. There was an apology, and one of its “international social media employees” who was born after the tragedy got the blame. Still, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could mistake the image as being fireworks.
6 - Total Beauty fails at the Oscars
Failing at the Oscars ensures a large and captive audience (just ask Jennifer Lawrence after her fall on the Oscars stage). Total Beauty, an online publication, learned the hard way after it somehow confused Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey in a tweet. Both are high on the list of people you should not only recognize, but that you should not upset.
7 - Coca-Cola picks a fight with Russia
It’s never a good thing to upset the Russians. Leave it to Coca-Cola to do so when it sent out a tweet featuring a cartoon with a snow-covered map of the country. That's a good way to relate your brand with a specific audience, right? A closer look reveals that the map’s actually outdated, missing Kaliningrad, which was added to Russia following World War II. The Russians weren't too thrilled, leading to a trending topic on Twitter, #BanCocaCola.
8 - The racist Microsoft Twitter bot
Sometimes, it's just gotta be hard being so smart. Microsoft once made an "AI" Twitter bot that would learn from its users through conversation. Quickly, trolling users turned the bot, "Tay" into a pretty rude racist in just a few hours. Microsoft's research team quickly deleted the tweets and put the project on pause.
9 - Delta Air Lines doesn’t get Ghana
There are Delta flights to Ghana’s capital, Accra, but it doesn't know much else about Ghana. When the airline tried to congratulate Team U.S.A. for beating Ghana 2-1 during a 2014 World Cup championship match, a seemingly innocuous tweet became a point of mockery. In the tweet, Delta showed the score with a silhouette of a giraffe behind “1” for Ghana and the Statue of Liberty behind “2” for the U.S. Users quickly pointed out that there are no giraffes in Ghana. Delta then did what any company does when being publicly humiliated by going into damage control mode. Somehow, Delta messed things up even more when it referred to its incorrect tweet as its “precious” tweet instead of its “previous” tweet.
10 - Entenmann's screws up following the Casey Anthony verdict
Public sentiment was really raw after Casey Anthony “Not Guilty” murder verdict. Likely wanting to score some extra exposure by riding the wave of the trending hashtag #notguilty, baked goods manufacturer Entenmann’s messed up big time. This predictably backfired, and after public ridicule, Entenmann’s deleted the tweet and apologized, ”Sorry everyone, we weren’t trying to reference the trial in our tweet! We should have checked the trending hashtag first”... “Our #notguilty tweet was insensitive, albeit completely unintentional. We are sincerely sorry.” Nice try to sweep it under the rug, but a huge lapse in judgement.
11 - Kenneth Cole uses political unrest to promote a sale
During the uproar that occured in 2011 in Egypt, Kenneth Cole alluded to the unrest being likely related to the new clothing collection. Knowing how unstable and deadly such situations can be, it's incredible that KC thought this would be a good idea. A pathetic apology afterwards got very little traction given the history of KC's divisive social media content.
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