4 Companies That Tried Edgy PR Stunts Online (And Failed)

A social media presence has long been a requirement for any public entity, be they a government institution or a subpar sandwich chain. Which makes it all the more baffling when brands that never need to say anything beyond "Hey, chicken nuggets on sale!" still hop online to gleefully commit some pretty brutal faux pas. Like when ...


Snapchat Thinks Domestic Abuse Is Hilarious

Imagine that you're an executive at Snapchat and you're about to unveil a brand new in-app game based on the classic "Would You Rather?" How would you advertise this new feature? There are countless options, but if you thought of literally anything besides "associate your product with an infamous domestic abuse incident," then congratulations! You beat the actual Snapchat executives.

SnapchatOcean's 9 is Rihanna taking the Snapchat CEO for all he's worth.

Continue Reading Below


Continue Reading Below


Snapchat offered the classic half-pology, claiming that the ad "slipped through their review process." But Rihanna was having exactly none of that, clapping back with, "Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain't my fav app out there! But I'm just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I'd love to call it ignorance but I know you ain't that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!"

She concluded by saying, "Throw the whole app-ology away." Because Rihanna has secretly been your dad this whole time.

New Zealand Police Make Memes About Notifying Next Of Kin

Aspiring comedians are often advised to base their material on what they know best, but that doesn't really work when "what you know best" is scraping the splattered remains of human beings off the road. Nobody told that to whichever unappreciated deputy runs the New Zealand Police Twitter account, though. So they wound up posting this:

Continue Reading Below


New Zealand Police Department*Jim face into the camera*

Continue Reading Below


Shockingly, making light of human tragedy with a GIF from a sitcom led some to accuse the department of insensitivity. They quickly apologized, and the account is now strictly business. Presumably they had to quietly delete a few on-deck zingers featuring Homer Simpson mugging in front of a fatal house fire, but that's the price we pay for "political correctness."

Continue Reading Below


Pizza Hut Mocked A Palestinian Hunger Striker

Most people try to stay out of the whole Israel vs. Palestine debate, even if their entire job is to stay in the Israel vs. Palestine debate. So when you're an entity that exists solely to provide people with s****y pizza, no one expects you to have an opinion. But in 2017, Pizza Hut just had to have themselves an opinion.

Hugely influential Palestinian Marwan Barghouti was facing intense scrutiny for allegedly cheating on a hunger strike while in an Israeli jail. Barghouti was leading a strike movement to draw attention to the Palestinian cause, but the Israeli Prison Service attempted to shame him by releasing footage of him sneaking cookies and a chocolate bar, as if he was in the world's most brutal fat camp.

Continue Reading Below


The images soon appeared all over the region's social media. The appropriate response from Pizza Hut's Israeli Facebook account would be nothing, because why on Earth would it ever be something? But somehow they simply couldn't resist, and soon sent edited images of Barghouti to their 100,000 followers, saying, "Barghouti, if you're going to break a strike, isn't pizza better?"

Pizza Hut IsraelYou don't want to know what Papa John's Israel said in the comments.

Continue Reading Below


Continue Reading Below


Outrage obviously followed, and Pizza Hut quickly backed down, offering the standard apology with a promise that mocking political demonstrators did not "reflect the values of our brand." Then they encouraged everybody to Occupy Wing Street and it all started up again.

Dove Makes Throwback Ads ... That Throw Back To Racism

Back in the day, soap companies used to advertise that they were powerful enough to scrub the melanin off black people, but we got off that whole kick sometime around the Civil Rights Movement.

Continue Reading Below


Pears Soap"Buy all Pears KKKleaning products today!"

Then Dove decided that it was time for a retro ad campaign, which was fine, and made it about celebrating the superior cleanliness of white people, which was less fine. They created this Facebook ad, which should have died about three seconds into peer review:

Dove"We don't think you got the joke. It's because black people are like dirt, you see?" -- a multi-billion-dollar company's ad department

Continue Reading Below


After the inevitable complaints, Dove issued an apology, saying they'd "missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully." Which is a little like saying you "missed the mark in representing Christianity thoughtfully" after burning a cross on somebody's lawn.

Stephan Roget does Twitter stuff over @StephanRoget, and does Cracked stuff over at right here! They are almost certainly not a Russian algorithm designed to undermine Western society with pithy observations about popular culture! Nyet way!

Let's keep The Office strictly in binge-watching format, especially just in case it's ever removed from Netflix.

Support your favorite Cracked writers with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out 29 Huge Social Media Gaffes By Huge Companies and 6 Offensive Messages Hidden In Huge Marketing Campaigns.

Follow us on Facebook, why don't ya?

To turn on reply notifications, click here


Load Comments

More Articles

5 Screwed-Up Secrets The Ultra-Rich Don't Want You To Know

You don't make astonishing amounts of money without ending up a jerk in some way.


5 Billion-Dollar Industries That Treat Workers Like Garbage

Even our most popular forms of entertainment can treat their employees like absolute trash.


5 Huge Scandals With Crazy Details The News Barely Mentioned

The news spent weeks reporting on these giant scandals without bothering to mention the stupidest parts.


5 Acts Of Charity That Went Horrendously Wrong

The road to losing your tax exemption status is paved with good intentions.


5 Underreported Dumb Annoyances Pro Athletes Put Up With

Being at the top of your game can really drag you down.


5 Dark (But Hilarious) Times Big Tech Companies Failed Hard

Well, this is ... bleakly hilarious.