20 Biggest Brand Fails of 2012

Judging by the traffic trends on this blog, it seems the only thing more enjoyable than a brilliant, uplifting, inspirational marketing success is a horrible, embarrassing, cringe-worthy marketing blunder—otherwise known as the big brand fail. Every year there's plenty of them—the accidental tweet, the offensive billboard, the Photoshop disaster, the just-plain-tasteless ad.

The 20 Biggest Brand Fails of 2012

Game Maker Kills App That Lets You Mock-Assassinate Your Facebook Friends

Japanese video-game maker Square Enix tried to advertise its game Hitman: Absolution by allowing you to pretend to put a hit on your Facebook friends for a variety of appalling reasons.

‘F This Job,’ Writes Agency Social-Media Manager … on Client’s Facebook Wall

Bozeman, Mont: Great place to visit. Even better place to leave?

Kate Moss Airbrushed Within Inches of Her Life in New Fashion Ads

At 38, Kate Moss has aged better than most hard-partying it-girls could hope to. But apparently that's not good enough for Chilean fashion line Basement. Having already forced her into breeding with a bunny, the brand has now released new ads in which Moss appears to have been practically sandblasted into some sort of anime android. In the shot above, her eyes have been moved so far apart, they're in danger of wrapping around the sides of her head like a hammerhead shark. The Sun asks, "Is this the most airbrushed photoshoot ever?" But that's an honor that probably goes to any shot of Madonna from the past decade. More images below.

Oops! WGN Anchor Refers to Chicago’s Christkindlmarket as ‘Kristallnacht’

It's good to know that people still say really dumb things out loud and not just on Twitter.

American Apparel, Gap Blasted for Hurricane Sandy Ad Fails

Clothing brands appear to have committed the biggest brand fails of Hurricane Sandy, with both American Apparel and Gap forgetting that death and loss make a poor springboard for promotional messaging. American Apparel sent out an email blast on Monday night offering 20 percent off to customers in nine Eastern states for the next 36 hours—"in case you're bored during the storm." ("Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout," the ad gleefully advised.) It was met uniformly with derision on Twitter. Somewhat less egregious, though still plenty tacky, was Gap's exhortation to people—within a single tweet—to stay safe during the storm and also maybe do a little shopping at Gap semi-apologized in a follow-up tweet. American Apparel has said nothing further.UPDATE: American Apparel tells Fashionista: "Of course we'd never mean to offend anyone and when we put the email out yesterday it came from a good place. … Retail stores are the lifeline of a brand like ours, so when they are closed, we need to come up with ways to make up for that lost revenue. People forget how expensive it is to run a Made in USA brand like American Apparel, and if we made a mistake here, it came from the good place of trying to keep the machine going—for the sake of our employees and stakeholders."

Dior Ad Banned as Natalie Portman’s Eyes Look Too Damn Beautiful

It's been a while since I'd heard from Britain's Ad Standards Authority, so I was excited to learn that they dropped their mighty ban hammer on a Christian Dior mascara ad featuring Natalie Portman.

Why a Popular Soup Chain Called a Woman the C-Word in a Mass Email

Soup restaurant chain Hale and Hearty had to deal with a hot and steaming bucket of something yesterday, but it wasn't broccoli cheddar.

StubHub Tweeter Was Obscenely Happy to Leave Work on Friday

Let's all say it together: If you have access to a brand's Twitter account, make sure you log out before posting an offensive personal tweet.