American Apparel, The Gap, Urban Outfitters
It's the downside to social media's immediacy: Craven marketers have less time to give a sober second thought to their knee-jerk reactions to big public events. Among the myriad reports of grossly inappropriate Sandy-related advertising campaigns, the three worst offenders mentioned most often were American Apparel (APP), The Gap (GPS), and Urban Outfitters (URBN). American Apparel, no stranger to controversy already, emailed a marketing campaign saying, "In case you're bored during Hurricane Sandy. 20% off everything for the next 36 hours." The Gap tweeted, "All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We'll be doing lots of online shopping today. How about you?" And later apologized. Urban Outfitters emailed its client list with ad that read, "This Storm Blows, But Free Shipping on All Orders Doesn't." One was to enter the code "ALL SOGGY" during checkout to get the shipping deal. Animated cats and dogs tumbled down the ad, as if falling from the sky. Feeling sick yet?