Companies hurt by bad publicity

6 years ago

Companies hurt by bad publicity

Raising the public profile of your business isn’t easy and whilst some say all publicity is good publicity that’s not always true when it comes to business, as bosses at a Tonbridge company found out this week.

Tecomak Environmental Services hit the headlines after staff accidentally attached comments to an email sent to an interview candidate, in which she was called "a home educated oddball" and it was suggested she was "worth an interview if only for a laugh" - ouch!

Here at BusinessComparison we’ve put together some examples of companies that have both triumphed and bombed through publicity starting with Moonpig who were crushed like a daisy!


Good day...

The company successfully showcased its range of bouquets by creating a garden installation at London’s One New Change in October 2015. The clever marketing stunt enticed passing members of the public to ‘confess’ who they should thank, apologise or say ‘I love you’ to. After bearing their souls they were invited to have a photo taken in the shed, enter a free prize draw and were given free flowers. Lovely…

Bad day...

Whilst disappointed mothers up and down the country wondered if their offspring still truly appreciated them, angry customers tweeted their disappointment about Mother’s day cards and flowers they claimed were damaged, late or failed to arrive. Moonpig apologised explaining that the problems were due to “an issue” with a supplier.


Good day:

In Brazil, where craft ales aren't so popular, Budweiser came up with a smart social media publicity ploy. They teamed up with Facebook to introduce drinkers to a unique way to toast. The Buddy cup allows people to “friend” each other on the social media channel just by tapping the cups together. One party could mean thousands of new friends! The percentage of them that stay as friends is anyone’s guess!

Bad day:

The American brewery giants were left with a bad taste in their mouths after their bold campaign, which was designed to take on independent craft ales that were disrupting the market, experienced a major twitter and media backlash. An advert that ran during the 2015 Super Bowl taunted hipsters they described as quaffing delicate glasses of “pumpkin peach ale” and added that “It’s brewed for drinking. Not dissecting.” This year the Super Bowl advert poked fun at craft beers again by stating it was “not small”, “not sipped” and “not a hobby”. Budweiser’s publicists provoked a reaction but not necessarily the one they were hoping for when craft ale brewers BrewDog launched a twitter campaign called #NotBackingDown. This could well be the start of a long running battle…

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Good day...

Much of Krispy Kreme’s successful rise to doughnut domination has been via publicity from celebrity endorsements as well as on-screen appearances. The brand made its film debut with John Travolta in a Krispy Kreme diner in the 1998 film Primary Colours. Since then the sweet treat has played a starring role in Ally McBeal and Sex and the City. Perhaps the chain’s most successful publicity stunt was to celebrate Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008 when they offered punters a free coffee with an image of Obama in the foam and re-branded the drink “The United States of Americano”.

Bad day...

This poster had celebrity endorsers running for the hills! In a great example of how one tiny part of a mega brand can damage its entire reputation this branch in Hull publicised half term activities for kids including the Krispy Kreme Klub or KKK Wednesday as it was unfortunately titled. Needless to say, despite immediately removing the Facebook post and issuing an apology, there was a social media explosion of photoshopped images of Klu Klux Klan members with Krispy Kreme donuts.

Lucy Liddiard