Biggest Public Relations Goofs

August proved to be a banner month where PR gaffs and goofs are concerned. Here’s a brief rundown of the biggest and least bright communicative moves in order of goofiness.

Put On A Black Face of Racism –  Dunkin’ Donuts apologized for being insensitive with their ad campaign over in Thailand that featured a female version of Al Jolson. The “blackface” makeup job to identify a new chocolate flavored doughnut did not exactly go over as planned. AND, as any corporate suit will tell you, the first order of business when the public cries out over idiotic stuff like this is…. Yep, The company’s chief executive in Thailand defended the campaign to start with, so the big dogs back in the US had to do the back peddling. Dunkin Donuts tops the August list.

Obama Alzheimers – Without even looking for gaffs from President Obama in the last few weeks, I’ve actually be amazed at just how goofed up the American president’s speech and other advisers must be. Okay, maybe he just goofs up what they tell him to say. Just the other day Obama called the United States military “my military” speaking on Syria intervention. That slip was as if the most powerful man in the world were engaged in a game of Risk or Command and Conquer! But the best indication Obama may be slipping is revealed by none other than Rush Limbaugh. Obama comes in second, for once.

Ukip Trip-ups – UK politics should have a category of its own where being goofy in PR is concerned. However, the UK Independence Party should be in the Guinness Book of World Records somehow for their August goofs alone. From defending Catholic child abusing priests and Nazis no less, to Godfrey Bloom further branding his party (if not all Britain) as racists. I, for one, am starting to wonder just how come all this bigotry seems to be coming out of late? Are we all really that screwed up? Oh well, Ukip takes a solid third place behind Dunkin Donuts and Obama for goofed up branding last month. Sending money to “bongo bongo land” in a speech? For Christ sake.

Michael D. Higgins Caricature - courtesy DonkeyHotey

Michael D. Higgins Caricature – courtesy DonkeyHotey

Making the Forbes Gay List – Everybody knows a business person has made the grade once they’ve made one of Forbes’ highly touted lists. Undoubtedly happily married President of Ireland Michael D Higgins was not delighted though at being described as an “acknowledged homosexual” in an article in ‘Forbes’ magazine by David Monagan. While we’ve all made our share of typos and identity mistakes, one has to wonder a bit where Monagan dredged up gay Irish presidents data? A sure number four spot is claimed by Forbes here.

Miley Cyrus – Issues Cinderella

By now everyone with a smartphone or a tin can to communicate with knows about former Disney sweetheart Miley Cyrus’ VMA coming out. Unlike a butterfly emerging from chrysalis though, by most accounts “Hannah Montana” turned into something in between a pole dancer and Madonna from outer space. “Nasty” is one term being tossed around, but somehow Cyrus has managed to impress a few with this new form of cultural art shock. If you have no idea what I am talking about, the video below is for those of you caught hopelessly in the clutches of Dr. Evil last week. So you know, Miley would have taken the top spot here except that she seems elated she “won” this publicity stunt contest. Cyrus also admitted to having more problems than she could shake a finger at in an interview at The Mirror. “I’m messed up. I have so many f***ing issues.” Okeydokey.

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