10 PR Disasters That Weren’t Caught Until It Was Too Late

The first rule of heading off negative publicity is to get ahead of it and turn the conversation in your favor. The second rule is to not compound the problem by saying the wrong thing. Here are 10 public relations nightmares so spectacular you’d think they were done on purpose.


Coca-Cola might have wanted to teach the world to sing, but when Pepsi tried to one up the sentiment it was more a record scratch. The infamous Kendall Jenner ad wherein a political protest is diffused by a can of soda was so poorly received that the company apologized to Jenner first, then the public later. Only one thing saved them from the internet’s ire…

United Airlines

The “Friendly Skies” were anything but when an overbooked flight led to a passenger’s beating and removal — all caught on cell phone camera — just a week after the Pepsi ad fiasco. United’s chief Oscar Munoz chose to keep mum instead of getting ahead of the news, and when he eventually commented, on Twitter, he seemed more concerned on how the company was affected than the victim.