The 15 biggest marketing fails of 2014: McDonalds terrifies Twitter, U2 invades iPhones and Airbnb's balls up

19/12/2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we look as some of the biggest marketing blunders of the year. From Amazon's Fire Phone flop and Apple's U2 fiasco to Facebook's drag queen name ban and McDonalds terrifying new mascot, there were plenty of mistakes from companies that should know better. Read on, learn from the mistakes and hope your team doesn’t make the list in 2015...

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Uber faces backlash for Sydney siege price hike

Taxi app Uber has been forced to reverse its decision to increase cab fares to four times the usual price during the seige tragedy in Sydney's Martin Place, following a social media backlash.

eCommerce nightmare before Christmas: Amazon glitch prices goods at 1p

Amazon has faced a backlash from retailers after a software glitch from a third party site caused hundreds of items to be sold for 1p.

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Bezos admits “billions of dollars of failures at Amazon”

The Amazon CEO has admited that failures, such as recent Fire Phone flop, have cost the company billions of dollars, but is adamant that experimentation is key to the company’s survival.

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Facebook sorry for drag queen name ban

Facebook has apologised for imposing a ban on fake names, a move that particularly affecting performers and drag queens, and has clarified that it will now allow ‘authentic’ names on the social network, even if they are not the user’s real name.

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How Greggs turned a Google fail into a social win

Greggs has been embarrassed after a crude spoof of its logo started appearing on a prominent Google search result- but the UK bakery chain managed to turn the situation to its advantage via some good humoured and timely social media management.

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Bad day for Apple: 'Bendgate' and 'brickgate' spoil new iPhone launch

Apple's record breaking iPhone 6 sales have been marred by two high-profile fails, as users flock to social media to complain about bent phones and a software update that renders their devices useless.

Watch this Bloomberg video discussing the issues here:

With or without U2? Apple offers free album removal tool

Apple has launched a tool that lets iPhone users delete a free U2 album from their iTunes library, after an outcry from some users that the songs were unwanted and took up too much storage space on their devices.

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Bad dates: OKCupid in hot water over user experiments

OKCupid has defended its recently uncovered experiments on users, which saw the dating service deliberately set up bad matches between users to see how they would respond.

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Genius or balls? Airbnb rebrand sparks web ridicule

Airbnb has undergone a rebrand as the accommodation sharing website looks to target more markets, but the new logo has attracted widespread mockery on the web for its similarities to certain parts of the human anatomy.

Facebook investigated for secret experiment

Facebook is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK after a study showed a psychological experiment influenced what users saw in their news feeds, raising fresh privacy concerns.

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Twitter fail: KLM apologises for offensive Mexico World Cup tweet

Dutch airline KLM has been forced to apologise for joke tweet following Netherland’s victory over Mexico at the World Cup. The tweet, now deleted, included a photo of an airport departures sign under the heading 'Adios Amigos'. Next to the word 'Departures' was a picture of a man wearing a sombrero and a moustache.

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'More robots than humans' saw Mercedes-Benz ad

Online ads for Mercedes were seen more often by fraudster robots than humans, according to a new report.

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Scarier than a clown? New McDonald’s mascot terrifies Twitter

McDonald's latest mascot ‘Happy’, aimed at promoting healthy eating for children, has caused a stir on social media for all the wrong reasons- with many judging the character as ‘terrifying’.


New York cops' Twitter campaign backfires with ‘police brutality’ pics

A hashtag campaign started by the New York City Police Department has backfired after being inundated with photos of police brutality submitted via Twitter.

#nomakeupselfie craze: Autocorrect error leads to thousands donated to polar bears

A texting blunder has led to thousands of pounds being donated to both Unicef and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), instead of Cancer Research as part of the ‘No Make Up Selfie’ craze.

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