10 Most Horrific Marketing Stories Of 2020

10 Most Horrific Marketing Stories Of 2020

Episode 329 – October 30, 2020


  1. Uninsured SXSW
  2. Randomly Recording Smart Speakers
  3. Creepy COVID Masks
  4. Vanishing Keyword Data
  5. Facebook’s Couples App
  6. Facebook’s Stalking Data
  7. Ayn Rand’s Hand Out
  8. Apple Hijacks Search Traffic
  9. Pubic Hair Branding
  10. We Are Not Okay

During episode 329, BL and David discuss the ten most horrifying marketing stories they covered in 2020.



No Refunds From SXSW

Blaming “force majeur,” SXSW would not issue any refunds for the cancelled festival.


Yes, Smart Speakers Are Spying on You

Smart speakers record you more often than you think, according to a new study.



Creepy Medical Masks

A producer in Gandhinagar, India, has created a system that allows you to print the bottom half of your own face on to a mask – so when you wear it, it still looks like you.


Google’s Vanishing Keywords

Google has begun alerting advertisers that it will soon stop showing search queries that triggered their ads when there is not “significant” data.


Facebook Couples App

The least private platform on the planet launched a “Private” app for couples. What could go wrong?


Stalking Facebook

Facebook launched an Off Facebook Activity Tool that will show you the ways it stalks you, even when you turn off the app on your phone. Change these privacy settings right now!

GIF: WP Off-Facebook Activity


Atlas Scammed

The Ayn Rand Institute applied for and received a PPP loan.

The Ayn Rand Institute received a PPP loan of between $350K and $1 millionhttps://t.co/EOhMBQh40f— Pat Fitzgerald (@PatFitzgerald23) July 6, 2020


Apple Hijacking Search Traffic

Apple is redirecting search engine traffic away from publishers’ sites to its own news app.

Woah, I wonder how many publishers in Apple News+ realize that the new iOS14 and MacOS Big Sur are by default intercepting traffic to their sites and sending it to the Apple News app instead. pic.twitter.com/k4PQG9mE7M— Tony Haile (@arctictony) August 10, 2020


Public Hair Branding

Canada’s Hell’s Basement and a shop in Wellington both thought the word ‘huruhuru’ meant ‘feather’ – they were wrong.


We’re Not OK

Researchers are looking at online behavior to gauge public mental health. The results aren’t pretty.

Chart: Average Happiness for Twitter


YouTuber Attacked By Fondue

We shouldn’t laugh at his misfortune, but when this YouTuber recovered from flying fondue, he made the best of a bad situation.

Weekly Numbers

Halloween Search Trends