13 Cringeworthy Ways Brands Have Addressed Sensitive Issues

The purpose of brands is to make money, which makes any attempt at addressing deep-seated social issues already suspect. Add additional bad judgment (and most likely a homogenous workplace), and, bam, you've got yourself an ad worthy of some serious cringe. Here are some examples of ways brands have addressed (or failed to consider) sensitive topics. Just a warning, they are seriously offensive.

13

Demeter bottled the smell of tragedy DEMETER FRAGRANCE DEMETER FRAGRANCE LIBRARY First Response BOSTON. DO GOOD SMELL GOOD CRAGKEDOON To honor first responders after the Boston Marathon Bombing, Demeter released a perfume where 75% of proceeds go to the heroes. Unfortunately, it smells of smoke and burning rubber.

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12

The Bictator pokes fun at Kim Jong-il BIC PENS There's a time and place for humorous social commentary about the death penalty and dictatorships, but a BIC back-to-school advertisement is far from it.

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11

Accidental domestic abuse endorsement TORONTO ARGONAUTS OPENER. H HOME IS WHERE ALL A THE HEART iS. RONA NISSAN 2N IT'S ALSO WHERE WE 95 2s Hurt peaple. DE HA -CRACKEDCO ALL Football has a ong-running continued issue with family violence, which makes this poorly-worded ad for the Toronto Argonauts even

10

Pepsi commercializes Black Lives Matter PEPSI In the 2017 commercial, millionaire Kendall Jenner walks through a crowd of protestors to give a can of soda to a cop, and everyone cheers as systemic inequality is solved!

9

Nivea made a white supremacy ad. NIVEA WHITE IS PURITY L The Facebook ad ran with the caption, Keep it clean, keep it bright. Don't let anything ruin it and was targeted to customers in the Middle East.

8

Nivea made another racist ad. NIVEA HIVEA 4 BE.CIVI RE-CIILIZE YOURSEI CRACKED COM The 2011 magazine ad states that havinng a beard and an afro is uncivilzed in this terribly racist ad, which they eventually pulled after backlash.

7

Press pack included DIY nail bomb kit A BELFAST STORY CRACKED COM A Belfast Story is an Irish film about the investigation of IRA terrorists. Promotional packs were sent to the media, some of which had lived through the historic attacks.

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6

Italian soccer fought racism with... more racism NO TO RACISM SERIE A CRACKEDCO To try to discourage racist taunts and headlines against Black soccer players, Serie A commissioned an incredly insensitive campaign to show that we're all monkeys.

Read More: 5 “Huh” Ad Campaigns

5

Groupon cashes out on Free Tibet GROUPON CRACKED.COM In Groupon's confusing 2011 Super Bowl ad, they begin to address the plight of the Tibetan people but instead end on a quip about how you can get Tibetan curry for a deal.

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4

DiGiorno jumped on a domestic abuse hashtag DIGIORNO DiGiorno Pizza @DiGiornoPizza #WhyIStayed You had pizza. 9/8/14, 11.11 PM CRAGKEDOOM The social media person or DiGiorno clearly didn't do their research before tweeting out a joke on a trending hashtag. The hashtag was in defense of domestic abuse victims.

3

UNICEF used kids in blackface to raise money UNICEF N AFRIKA WURBEN SICH VIELE KINDER FREUEN, WENN SIE SICH UBER DIE SCHULE ARGERN KONNTEN. CRACKED This 2007 German ad campaign was to raise money to build schools in Africa. UNICEF had even focus-tested the ads without realizing how terribly racist

2

Anatomicals uses suicide to brand ANATOMICALS amatoioalls dark peachy Mair head peach shampoo for Sn Toallw itie suicidal ots hut puut thaat doe >00 ob meveer remine my hair actuatiy tosine itettott draaiic the betow. completely YOu CRACKEDO The UK beauty brand once sold at Urban Outfitters makes light

1

Charity stunt sends dog food to starving children MIGHTY MIX DOG FOOD Urban Rural Delivery Natural Igedients Cost effective Premium Nutrition NZ Made CRACKED COM The New Zealand founder of a dog food company offered to send 6,000 packs of dehydrated dog food to Kenyan children in need. The government

Read More: Offensive Ads You Won't Believe Are From The Last Decade