Thursday, January 22, 2004

Some of the "Best of the Worst:" A 101 Dumbest Moments in Business Retrospective from Business 2.0.

1 A gentleman named Mitch Maddox legally changes his name to DotComGuy and spends a year living in a house filled with webcams, using only the Internet to interact with the outside world, an effort that conclusively proves ... um, nothing.

6 With the slogan "Sometimes wetter is better," Kimberly-Clark introduces Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes premoistened toilet paper -- or, to put it another way, baby wipes for adults.

8 Unilever subsidiary Lipton approves an ad in which a man standing in line for communion holds a bowl of onion dip, presumably to improve the taste of the body of Christ. Under protest, Lipton withdraws the ad.

10 Six months after Midas (MDS) hires marketing firm Cliff Freeman & Partners, lauding its "strategic insight into our business," that insight shows itself in the form of a TV ad featuring an elderly woman in a Midas shop. Told of the company's lifetime guarantee, the woman rips open her blouse and asks, "So what can you do with these?" Strategically and insightfully, the ad is quickly pulled.

11 In April, 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) starts selling a line of Asian-themed T-shirts with slogans like "Wong Brothers Laundry Service: Two Wongs Can Make It White." After a firestorm of outraged complaints, A&F pulls the line. "We thought everyone would love this T-shirt," A&F spokesman Hampton Carney says. "We are truly and deeply sorry."