Top 10: Unfortunate Ad Placement Fails

wmmattler February 1, 2010 3

With the money spent on advertising you’d think placement would factor into things. Not always though. Unfortunately for those who spent the big bucks on trying to get consumers’ attention, they got ours instead.

The key to business has been said to be “placement placement placement!” Perhaps some of out entries should have heeded this advice.

10. Obama, McCain Nature Magazine Ad Fail

The primary elections as front page news, Nature Magazine failed in noticing the resemblance between their last page Sigma advertisement and front page photo. A mistake no doubt, but a hilarious mistake non the less.

9. Yahoo!

Turning the “Yahoo” into “Oh No!” our number 10 spot is probably not one that the average person gets. I suggest Googling it. (Oh man, this listing is going to kill our IT guys!) hint: think “error code”.

8. Incentive for Higher Education?

Wow, someone should really have thought this one over. I’m not so sure I want my kids in public school at this point. My jaw dropped when I saw this debacle, and for once I was nearly speechless. I said nearly.

7. JobsInTown

This ad placement is so stupid, it almost makes you think they placed it there on purpose, knowing it would go viral. But in case this was an honest fail, leaving some poor ad agency looking for a new job, it is a classic case of an unfortunate advertising placement.

6. Burn Baby Burn

Yet another unfortunate example of online marketing gone miserably wrong.

5. Carrot Meets Posing Model

This is a viral classic and has been for a while now. So you might have seen it before, but we could not imagine a fail ads list without it. It’s just too epic!

4. The Fight Against Cancer

I liked this one because it accurately reflects a portion of my own life; “I’m gonna quit… nope, looks just too damned good to stop.” I have much respect for the owner of the billboard though, this guy was getting paid from both sides of the aisle.

3. McHuh?

Choosing the number three and number four spots was a tough one. The reason this one won out was simply because the guy who owned this billboard probably made more money by sticking it to a much bigger brand in McDonald’s. I love free enterprise!

2. Coffee Gaff

Terrorists are now involved in online advertising! I have proof. It is their diabolical plan to kill millions by making us consume mass quantities of coffee! Or maybe this is just one of those random advertising things that happens every so often. This whole thing makes me nervous, I think I need a cigarette.

1. Funeral Ad Fail

It surely seems that this Funeral service company is hoping to increase their coffin sales, by boosting subways accidents. Not so much a placement fail, and poor copy.


  1. bhrando February 10, 2010 at 6:49 am -

    the #7 was a strong viral spot with a social function.
    Girls can have great job careers using their brains,an not letting everyone come inside of their body…..

  2. 10communications - amsterdam August 4, 2011 at 3:50 am -

    Have a different opinion on #7, the German Job Platform Ad: rough & tough but from a marketing point of view great. It was certainly placed there on purpose. It probably refers to German slang that points out at to the way some people are trying to get a job – you can imagine.

  3. balakrishna September 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm -

    jobsintown was very horrible to look.