Companies that ran offensive Advertising Campaigns

Adverting is a big deal in most companies since it is a way of communicating the specs to your products or services to your target market in a bid to convince them that the company has what they need to satisfy their insatiable needs. if a company runs a successful advertising campaign, then they are sure of making an increase in sales revenue. it requires some sort of research and ingenuity to be able to come up with an ad campaign that works out as intended.

The assumption is that all ad campaigns have a sure win when it comes to communicating with the target market but this is not the case as there are some scenarios where a specific advertising strategy from a given company offends the consumer to the point of bad publicity and criticism.

Here are some examples of companies whose ad campaigns were received with negative reviews and comments led to a decline in revenue in sales not because the product or service is unsatisfactory but due to the fact that the advertising strategy was rather unethical.


In 2002, a lawsuit was filed against MacDonald because the plaintiffs believed that there highly ‘deceptive advertising’ was luring consumers to the highly processed foods that in turn led to conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure. The then U.S. District Judge, Robert Sweet declared that MacDonald is not in any way to blame for aforesaid conditions due to the fact that the purchasing power is solely on the consumer and that advertising is an invitation to bid, not an order thus control is on the consumer and not the company. MacDonald won the next appeal but things were never to be the same for with the poor advert campaign came with it bad criticism and bad publicity.

Red bull.

This is also a multinational company whose advertisement ad to be pulled out because it relayed a “blasphemous” subject title. They were forced to stop running an animated advertisement in 2012, where Jesus is heard saying that he did not walk on water but there were hidden stones. This led to the some authorities threatening to ban the ad campaign. Realizing their mistake, they opted to leave out the animated commercial and replaced it with another. Having been aired in South Africa, during the scandal, it never got to be shown in the United States.


Nationwide ran a commercial during the 2015 Superbowl about a boy who was listing things he will never get to do because he would have died in car accident. A voice then says that at Nationwide, they secure the future of the children. This ad campaigns received bad reviews and criticism from viewers. Amobee Brand Intelligence, a research organization , collected data and from analysis found out that nearly 60% of viewers did not like the advertisement stating that it was too deep of a subject title considering that the Superbowl is fun, light-hearted event.

In conclusion, research is the vital factor when it comes to running a successful ad campaign and knowing your target audience will bring the company one step closer to achieving their goal which every business enterprise strives to reach;profit maximization.