We know that the last week has given public relations disasters over the last decade a run for their money.

Between Pepsi, United Airlines and Sean Spicer, we figured you may need reminding about some of the other PR scandals that have caused an uproar over the past 10 years. Check them out below:

1. Tesco Horse Meat Scandal – 2013

2013 saw Tesco and a host of other British supermarkets become the subject of intense scrutiny after it was identified that a number of their products contained ‘unidentified meats’.

Though the scandal affected many major food retails, Tesco faired the worst after it was found that their Everyday Value ‘Beef’ Burgers contained 29% horse meat. This sparked an investigation from The Foods Standards Agency, a very public apology from the retailer and a £300 million drop in their share price.

2. BP Oil Crisis – 2010

BP hit headlines in 2010 after a rig it operated in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and subsequently spilt 210 million gallons of oil into the surrounding sea.

In the wake of the disaster, BP faced 2 crisis’: 1. to stop the oil spill and 2. to convince the public that they were trying to stop the oil spill. On both accounts it failed spectacularly.

Though the leak was declared ‘sealed’ by BP 7 months after the spill, reports more than 2 years after the incident suggested it was still leaking.

As for its public response, BP weren’t exactly acclaimed for the months of back-pedalling that ensued after shunning all claims of responsibility from the outset. After all, they owned the oil and not the rig itself…

3. British Gas Twitter Disaster – 2013

After British Gas announced annual price hikes of £120 for it customers back in 2013, they took to Twitter to answer questions from the public using the hashtag #AskBG.

In classic Twitter fashion, along came an onslaught of tongue-in-cheek, hugely ironic questions targeted towards the energy supplier in a completely public domain.

Though British Gas tried to answer some of the more serious questions, the hashtag took on a life of it’s own and still remains, in our opinion, the biggest ‘Twitter for Business’ fail ever.

4. Starbucks Tax Avoidance Scandal – 2013

Back in 2013 (…again), a whole host of global firms, including Starbucks, Google and Amazon, hit the headlines after it was announced just how much tax they were avoiding on their British sales. Not illegal, just dodgy.

In particular, Starbucks came under fire after it was revealed that they paid no corporation tax from 2012-2013 despite £400 million in UK sales.

Since then, we’ve seen as a series of ‘tax-shaming’ stories peaking the public interest with last years Panama Papers Scandal drawing worldwide attention.

5. CEO Bailout Scandal – 2008

Last, but by no means least, we have the CEO bailout scandal. Do you remember that time when the CEOs of GM, Chrysler and Ford decided to ask for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxpayers money… via private jet?

That’s right. During the worst financial crisis in nearly half a century, these guys didn’t think their luxury lifestyles would draw much attention. Needless to say, it didn’t go down well.

Within the next week they were all pictured driving hybrid cars…


Got any more to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.