The Top 5 Failed PR Campaigns That Should Never Have Happened

I was trying to find an example of a cool new PR campaign but instead I stumbled upon this article with a name that I couldn’t help but click on. Here is the list:

1. BP Spends Millions on Advertising in the Middle of a Crisis 

This seemed like a good idea. But in reality, BP spent millions on advertising how much good their company does when they could have been spending millions on actually cleaning up their mess and helping all of the people they put out of the job because of their mistake.

2. OJ Simpson’s If I Did It

This definitely did not seem like a good idea. If you are on trial for murder, you probably shouldn’t write a book describing in detail how you would hypothetically commit the crime you are accused of. You also probably shouldn’t let the parents of the victim be in charge of the design of the cover and make it look like the book title is “I Did It”.

3. Lite-Brite Terrorism

Lite-Brite tried out a new campaign that they described as “guerrilla campaigning” around Boston for Cartoon Network. But really the ads used Lite-Brites and looked very similar to bombs. So much so that Boston’s bomb squad was called many times to make an area safe when it was just an advertisement.

4. Kentucky Grilled Chicken

KFC tried to hop on the health kick bandwagon but it completely backfired. Not only did the grilled chicken sell terribly, but it made people realize how bad KFC’s fried chicken was and their revenue for their best selling product went way down.

5. The New Coke

I think every American might know about this. Coke tried a new recipe and everyone hated it and forced Coke to go back to the original flavor. I think this might have been the one time in history where the general public like Pepsi more than Coke.

I think it is pretty important to look at failed PR campaigns also. We can talk about all of the cool things happening with gum packets, coke bottles, and helicopters all day long. Successful campaigns can be really great teachers. But failed campaigns can be great teachers too. Its important to learn from other companies’ mistakes so we don’t make them ourselves.

See the original article here:



2 thoughts on “The Top 5 Failed PR Campaigns That Should Never Have Happened

  1. aes11a says:

    I think that the best example was Coke, because I remember this happening. When you have a product as classic as Coca-Cola, you have to be so careful about not making the public mad. Coke has always sold products on the basic principle of the “American Dream” and when they took the original recipe away they took away the memories and they took away the idea that they are so successful in selling. Great post, with some very bad examples.


  2. rar11b says:

    I laughed out loud at 90% of these because I thought many of them were huge fails when they first happened so I’m glad someone agrees. My personal favorite is obviously the OJ Simpson issue because DUH don’t write a book about murder shortly after the trial where you were convicted for that very thing. Great post Carolyn!


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