101 Dumbest Moments

So you think you’re having a bad day?  CNNMoney.com has identified the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.  For the responsible parties, these "moments" are a lot like the Southwest Airlines "Wanna get away?" commercials.

Some examples:

In August, McDonald’s gave away 10,000 portable MP3 players to customers in Japan.  Some of them contained a computer virus that steals personal information from the user’s PC.

In July, Northwest Airlines laid off thousands of workers.  To show their concern for the about-to-be former employees, the airline provided a book of ways to save money including retrieving usable items from other people’s trash and making cat litter out of shredded newspapers.

The country of Kazakhstan was portrayed as somewhat backward in the movie Borat.  While the country is in the process of trying to rebuild its image, the central bank issued new currency with the word "bank" misspelled. 

The number one "dumb moment" goes to Wal*Mart for hiring a public relations firm to improve its battered image and suffering the first quarterly profit drop in ten years.  In the process, Wally World managed to secure six spots in CNN’s list.  Just in case you’re interested, their other five boo boos were:

Speaking on behalf of Wal*Mart, former UN ambassador Andrew Young made a racist comment to an African American newspaper.

A former executive of the company whose income was well into the seven-figures was caught running an expense account fraud.

In September a new blog appeared called "Wal*Marting across America" written by a couple traveling the country in an RV, visiting Wal*Mart stores and meeting happy employees.   Unfortunately, the couple failed to mention that the whole thing was set up by Wal*Mart  who paid for the RV and paid the couple.

Just six weeks after hiring a new advertising agency, Wal*Mart fired both the agency and the employee who hired them.  Turns out the employee had violated the company’s gift policy by accepting an expensive dinner in New York.  Having to start a new search for an ad agency, the company’s planned change in advertising strategy was set back at a time when sales are slumping.

DVD customers on Wal*Mart’s web site are offered suggestions for other items they might be interested in, ala Amazon.com.  Unfortunately some of the recommendations turned out to be less than appropriate.

The entire list of 101 may be a bit much to digest in one sitting, but it’s fun to see that you’re not the only one to do goofy things.

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