Most companies need very little help with spewing out branded garbage under the shroud of horrible racism or casual sexism. However, as we've talked about before, sometimes fate deals them a shitty hand as well, resulting in a PR nightmare where the only crimes are bad luck and terrible timing.
#4. Valentino Was Totally Stoked That Amy Adams Took Their Purse to a Funeral
Overpriced handbag peddler Valentino, headed by the orange shoe leather goblin Valentino Garavani, was so excited to see its latest product in the Oscar-nominated hands of Amy Adams that they sent out a delighted press release boasting, "We are pleased to announce Amy Adams carrying the Valentino Garavany Rockstud Duble bag from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection on Feb. 6 in New York" attached to this image:
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Their reaction after realizing what they'd done.
Problem is, Amy Adams isn't attending some movie premiere in that photo -- she's arriving at her friend Philip Seymour Hoffman's funeral. This is only slightly more tasteful than Armani bragging about how awesome their latest suit looked on Philip Seymour Hoffman's body.
Valentino quickly issued a hasty apology, insisting they hadn't realized the context of the photograph before sending out their dumbass self-congratulatory back slap.
#3. Oreo Cookies Automatically Retweets Angry Racism
Social media can be a difficult minefield to navigate, particularly if you're a large corporate entity that just blindly reblogs any piece of content that mentions your name. Like the official Oreo Cookie Twitter account, for example. As part of an online promotion, Oreo implemented an auto-reply feature to respond to anyone who participated, including one civil-rights-championing user whose Twitter handle rhymes with "bucking digger."
This is worse than when Fig Newton got drunk and started denying the Holocaust.
The result was an all-caps Klan rally greeting card followed by Oreo's accidentally official endorsement. The Internet frowned, and Oreo quickly deleted the message and blamed the whole affair on robots.
#2. A Theater Accidentally Shows Soft-Core Porn to Children
A Florida cinema recently blasted a doe-eyed theater of children expecting to see Disney's feel-good epic Frozen with a mentally scarring minute's worth of the totally NSFW trailer for the film Nymphomaniac, because apparently Tyler Durden was in the projection booth that day.
Clemens Bilan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
It's a movie filled with giant dicks.
The theater apologized and explained that the mix-up was due to a totally isolated programming error in a single auditorium that just happened to be playing the one film that guaranteed a captive audience of horrified children, because the cosmic ballad of the universe occasionally has a tremendous sense of humor.
#1. Companies Are Accidentally Sending Out the Worst Mailers Imaginable
It's hard to imagine a reason for a store like OfficeMax to incite offense when it is so difficult to come up with a reason for it to still exist at all after the public execution of its brother, CompUSA. However, they gallantly rose to the challenge by sending out an automated mass mailing to Mike Seay, whose daughter was killed in a car crash. Why is that relevant, you ask? Because the OfficeMax mailer decided to remind him of his tragedy in its address label:
"Or Current Business. Really, this concerns you both."
OfficeMax apologized and claimed that the horrible, horrible mistake was a result of buying a mailing list from a third-party data broker that apparently collects its information based on the most disturbing criteria imaginable. They just printed a little more than was requested on the address label. For reasons no one can begin to fathom, this is apparently not an uncommon occurrence:
Bank of America recently extended an exciting credit card offer to Ms. Lisa Is A Slut McIntire, a progressive freelance writer and prominent social media user whom we are relatively certain is not actually named that. Judging by this string of events, it would seem that both companies need to re-evaluate their relationship with whatever sociopathic automaton they've been doing business with.
Do you have a pop culture muse? Channel it in our T-shirt latest contest and you could win $500.