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5 shocking eCommerce fails

5 shocking eCommerce fails




Nobody can argue that eCommerce can often be a minefield of wacky, unique and downright bizarre campaigns. It’s one of the reasons DMT love being a part of this crazy online world – every brand is looking for that edge; to stand out from the crowd.

However, there are some eCommerce marketing campaigns that are slightly more memorable than others, but all press is good press… right? Well, not always! We’ve put together our most shocking eCommerce fails!


A successful hashtag campaign can work absolute wonders for the launch of a new product, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the unfortunate wording of #susanalbumparty, really take a moment to read that hashtag before sending it live. If there’s one thing the Internet loves, it’s the opportunity to troll.

Even some capital letters could have stopped this ‘hashtagstrophe’ in its tracks. #SusanAlbumParty immediately makes it a hip, new album launch instead of advertising a kinky sex party for SuBo.

Hurricane Sandy

Perhaps one of the worst marketing tweets of all time came from the popular clothing chain, The Gap, who were fiercely criticised after releasing a tweet during the horrific tragedy of Hurricane Sandy:


Although they were quick to delete the tweet, the damage had been done. They even tried to backpedal with this:

You’d hope that this wouldn’t need to be said, but trying to make money off the back of a natural disaster? Yeah, never a good idea.

Not quite an eCommerce campaign fail, but nevertheless still a memorable one. Data company, Dickson, made a splash after setting up an online store under the domain name


Before long, their website was being visited by those looking for, ahem, some fun for the night – instead of a Dickson product. It’s now been changed to – it makes us wonder if they still get as many visitors on site…

Adidas’ Arsenal kit

The launch of Arsenal’s new football kit started out as a pretty fantastic idea; a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #DareToCreate, which allowed users to create their own virtual shirt embellished with their own username – which they could then order.

However, in a rather naive move by Adidas, they didn’t include any kind of profanity filter – allowing the trolls of Twitter free rein. Within hours, @adidasuk’s own account were posting racist and anti-semitic Arsenal shirts.


100 free pizzas for 100 years

Let’s move next to a Russian branch of Domino’s Pizza, who decided it was a good idea to run an online campaign where they encouraged users to get a tattoo of the Domino’s logo, promising them 100 free pizzas for the next 100 years.

Within days they had to do a quick retraction – stating that only the first 350 people could win the prize, after their feed was flooded with entrants. They even had to put out a statement urging customers to cancel tattoo appointments as they would no longer be counted.

We definitely can’t knock the idea – Domino’s now has hundreds of people acting as walking advertisements, but it may have been worth popping in the quota of winners before going live!


There you have it – our top five most shocking eCom fails. Maybe brands will learn from these mistakes, maybe they won’t… there’s an evil part of us that hopes for the latter!

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