PR Disasters of 2013

As fast as PR disasters come and go and with the perpetuation of these “disasters” by social media, there’s no surprise we continue to see an increase from year to year. This year, we saw everything from “foot-in-mouth” fiascos to social media meltdowns. Here’s a recap of the worst! 
  1. Paula Deen. Enough said.
  2. The Abercrombie & Fitch “Cool kids” viral video, based on a horrific interview by the CEO in 2006. 
  3. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smokes crack. 
  4. Lululemon’s pants controversy, and ensuing comments by the company’s CEO.
  5. Carnival’s PR nightmare. 
Other highly-debated examples include comments in a GQ article by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, the failure of Healthcare.gov and Lance Armstrong finally coming clean during an interview with Oprah Winfree.
Social media saw its fair share of blunders. These were truly heinous: 
  1. Kenneth Cole puts his foot in his mouth again with offensive tweet. #Cairo 
  2. The most epic meltdown on social media, ever. #amysbakingcompany 
  3. Justine Sacco’s “the tweet heard round the world.” 
  4. This terrible idea by J.P. Morgan 
  5. Home Depot’s racist Twitter photo and tweet