5 Huge PR Disasters – Big Blunders and Mad Mishaps


We all know PR’s can mess up from time to time but heres a list of cases that crossed a line…..a big line.

5. Ghettopoly:

Ghettopoly is one of the racist boardgames ever! This game is a take on Monopoly but there is a gangster stereotype written all over it. The character instead of being called Mr.Monopoly, is called ‘Playa’ comes with a marijuana leaf, a basketball, a gun and other stereotypical objects. While the properties match the racism with places such as a ‘Crack House’ and ‘Smitty’s xxx Peep Show’. The description of it on the website portrays a stereotypical gangster and is full on racist. This is no doubt one of the biggest mishaps in the PR world.

(You can read more here).

4. Krispy Kreme Klub (KKK Wednesday):

As an attempt to advertise to host kids as they were out of school on a Wednesday Krispy Kreme decided to make an acronym of Krispy Kreme Klub and it ended up turning out a bit more racist than planned. The acronym turned out to be KKK wednesday, which caught the attention of twitter. The PR manager did offer an apology but it was still a big blunder and a PR disaster.

(You can read more here).

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3. Bud Light:

Bud Lights ‘Up For Whatever’ campaign was meant to bring people together for a great night but this campaign caused some controversy when they started putting quotes before the campaign slogan ‘Up For Whatever’. One of the quotes were “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night”. This caused outrage because the role of alcohol can be linked with rape, and people were offended by the statement.

(You can read more here).

2. Bloomingdale:

Like the Bud Light scandal this PR disaster is also about ‘date rape’. Bloomingdale’s scandal was because of an add rather than a campaign. the add shows a women laughing and not concentrating, while her friend is looking at her seriously. There is a caption bellow them saying “spike your best friend’s eggnog when their not looking”. People took to twitter about this and expressed their feelings about it. The comments on twitter show that this was a huge PR disaster.

(you can read more here).

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1. Volkswagen:

This story is a bit different from the other two but its still a PR disaster. The car company put devices in their car, so that it would know when its getting tested. It would make the car look like it was matching the environmental standard but it wasn’t. When the people and the media found out about this scandal, there was outrage. Volkswagen did respond by saying things like “We have totally screwed up” and the chief executive at the time Martin Winterkorn said his company had “broken the trust of our customers and the public”. Volkswagen’s scandal has definitely earned its place in the Top 5 PR disasters.

(You can read more here).

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