Despite all the best intentions, and in some cases, a good concept – sometimes marketing fails.

The following campaigns were probably pulled as soon as the error in judgment was realized, but luckily for us, the internet is a never-ending storage system with an elephant’s memory…

Stalker alert

In 1992 Fiat wrote 50,000 ‘love letters’ and posted them in women in Spain to promote their Cinquecentro Hatchbacks. The letters included sayings such as ‘we met again on the street yesterday and I noticed how you glanced interestedly in my direction… Why not join me for a little adventure?’ Unfortunately, there was no indication that they were from Fiat, leading to many women hiding, terrified of their ‘stalker’.

A streak of bad luck

During a rugby match in 2002 between Australia and New Zealand, two streakers appeared wearing nothing but the Vodafone logo. They were arrested and the Vodafone Chief Executive had to make an official public apology.

Sinking phone sales

This really speaks for itself. If you are going to demonstrate your product, make sure it actually works. With marketing like this, it’s no wonder Dick Smith went out of business…

Not such a Merry Christmas

Bloomingdales received a huge backlash when they seemingly encouraged date rape in a catalog ad for merchandise before Christmas. While they apologized, the ad was in print therefore impossible to pull and impossible to forget.

The perfect fail

Victoria’s Secret missed the memo on encouraging a healthy self-image in women. While promoting underwear for a variety of body types they forgot to actually included the variety in the images.

Not U2

The band U2 and Apple had this great idea that they would force the new U2 album onto 500 million devices using iTunes. They didn’t account for the many users that did not actually want the album.

So perhaps not ‘all publicity is good publicity’ after all. To make sure your business doesn’t end up on a list like this give us a call to discuss your marketing needs.

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