PR fails include Juneteenth menu item

Another day, another corporate apology? Tone-deaf advertising, poor products, and corporate scandals are frequent for big brands. Here are some major PR catastrophes that have befallen big-name businesses, like a children's museum's insensitively named salad.

The Indianapolis Children's Museum's cafe sells "Juneteenth Watermelon Salad." The fruit has long been used in racist portrayals of Blacks, making some wonder who at the museum thought it was a good idea to honour slavery's end with a bad caricature.

Tactless Salad

Walmart's latest ice cream flavour is accused of targeting black Americans. Great Value brand's Juneteenth ice cream was recently released. It's a Black holiday that became a national holiday last year. Customers called Walmart selfish, disrespectful, & exploitative of Thanksgiving.

Walmart's bad ice cream

Ulta Beauty was criticised for an offensive newsletter subject line. "Come hang with Kate Spade" promoted the brand's new scents, yet for many customers it recalled her suicide in 2018. Ulta released an apology email to subscribers, saying it regrets the choice of language.

Insensitive Ulta email

Peloton appeared to be one of the pandemic's winners. In 2020, gym-less people bought the brand's workout bikes. More than 1 million people subscribed to online classes, and revenue grew 66%. Peloton ended up with an excess of equipment after ramping up manufacturing. 

Peloton's Comeback

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg fired roughly 900 employees through Zoom call in December. He accused the fired workers of stealing on Blind, a networking site. That's rich since the company just raised $750 million.

Bungled Better.com Layoffs

Southwest recently cancelled nearly 2,000 flights due to severe weather, air-traffic control concerns, crew shortages, and an overbooked schedule. As required by law, the airline reimbursed passengers' tickets and sent them "LUV coupons" for future flights.

Southwest cancellations

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