The Worst Advertising Blunders In Modern History

January 18, 2018 | Matt


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Modern advertising is still a fairly new industry. Its techniques are far from perfectly refined, and sometimes, advertisers’ attempts to influence consumers backfire radically. The marketing faceplants in this article are perfect examples of times companies tried to hit a bullseye and instead shot themselves in the foot.

Cosmopolitan

The most infamous recent marketing blunder was Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner commercial. The ad, made by Pepsi’s Content Creators League, depicted Kendall Jenner in the midst of a heated protest, singlehandedly preventing a melee between protesters and the police by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi.

Pepsi was raked across the coals for it. They were accused of capitalizing upon the political moment for their own gain, and cheapening the efforts of progressive groups like Black Lives Matter. Other ad agencies dogpiled on Pepsi, claiming that such disastrous messaging could have been avoided had they not done the ad in-house. Brad Jakeman, then president of the PepsiCo Global Beverage Group, left the company and then described the fiasco as “the most gut-wrenching experience of my career.”