And the bigger they are…

big business mistakesIt’s that time of year again: Christmas is a distant memory, you can’t shed those extra pounds and the credit card bills are rolling in. Luckily, there’s always someone else with bigger problems. And Fortune magazine has assembled the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business to cheer you up. It’s a romp through the lows (some of them very low indeed) of last year. In case you haven’t got time to check out all 101, here are my personal favourites:
  • (10) Diebold, who put a picture of the key for their electronic voting machines on their website – just enough detail for somebody to cut a real one.
  • (15) Bindeez, an Australian toy made from beads. When sucked, the beads released the date-rape drug GHB.
  • (16) Microsoft, whose PR agency compiled a 13-page dossier on a journalist – then emailed it to him by mistake.
  • (38) The 409 people who clicked on a Google Adwords ad that said ‘Drive-By Download. Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here.’
  • (48) The European Union, whose campaign to promote European cinema, Let’s come together, raised (at least) an eyebrow.
  • (50) The US Defense Department, and the case of the $969,000 postage stamp.
  • (51) Apple, who slipped up on customer service – with a nine-year-old iPod fan.
  • (67) McDonald’s, who took on the Oxford English Dictionary over the word ‘McJob’.
  • (81) Data-centre operator 365 Main, who set the bar high – then fell at the first hurdle.
  • (93) British Airways, who put the body of dead economy passenger in the seat next to a sleeping first-class one  – and told him to ‘get over it’ when he woke up and complained.
  • (97) Blogger, whose own company blog was flagged as spam and promptly disabled.
There. You’re feeling better already, aren’t you? I know I am.