For those of you behind on your podcasts, Serial is an investigation into the real murder of a high school student, and a Best Buy parking lot and a nearby payphone (that no one could confirm ever existed) figures prominently in the details of the crime. The murder happened in 1999 when payphones were still a thing.
So Best Buy made a reference to a podcast about a tragic crime that 90 percent of its followers wouldn't get, while the 10 percent who did would probably be put off by the sheer callousness of it. Serial is the most popular podcast ever, and we understand the desire to take advantage of trending hashtags, but there's a reason you never saw tweets like "It's important to always have a LEG UP on whoever's giving you trouble! #prostheticsales #pistoriustrial."
In response to criticism, Best Buy did the standard delete and half-assed apology, though we're sure at least one person wanted to argue, "What's the big deal? We said we don't have payphones, so we're anti-murder!"
There's still an ongoing debate about the appropriateness of the Washington Redskins' name, in the sense that a discussion between some old, privileged white guys who swear it's totally fine and everyone else who agrees that it kind of isn't can be considered a debate. We're not here to take sides any more than we did in that preceding sentence, but we would like to point out that when you've been accused of being insensitive to Native Americans, you maybe shouldn't rub salt in the indigenous genocide with a tweet like this:
"We would take it down, but we don't want to be Indi- ... uh, people that take things back ..."
"Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! You know, that day where we celebrate Europeans arriving on the continent and starting a long campaign to steal all the locals' shit and dream up slurs with which to name our modern corporate sports teams! PS: Here's a shitty picture of a bridge our social media intern's cousin thinks is artistic!"
We know that modern Thanksgiving is just an excuse to stuff as much pie and beer in your mouth as humanly possible, and we fully support that. But when you've been accused of being insensitive to Native Americans, and your counterargument is, "Nuh-uh, we totes aren't," think before you tweet. There's a reason the KKK doesn't send out well-wishes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Redskins' Thanksgiving message could have been a series of unusually crude fart noises and it would have come across as more appropriate.
You can read more from Mark at his website.
For more corporate fuckwittery, check out 4 Hilarious Leaked Emails Corporations Don't Want You to See and 4 Leaked Memos That Made Companies Look Like Dicks.
And to further straighten out your noggin, check out Cracked's De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn't Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew.