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Before Coke-Snorting Santa And An Ad Accused Of Weight-Shaming, Some Fails From Christmas Past

Before Coke-Snorting Santa And An Ad Accused Of Weight-Shaming, Some Fails From Christmas Past

After Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) stopped selling a sweater this week featuring a cocaine-snorting Santa and apologized, and a trendy stationary bike company was criticized for an ad in which a husband seemed to imply his wife needed to lose some weight, it seemed like a good time to look back at few other Christmas gift fails.

So in addition to the questionably-thought-out stimulated Santa sweater and Peloton Interactive Inc's (NASDAQ: PTON) ad that appeared to turn off as many buyers as it inspired by suggesting a relationship that requires exercise, here are a few previous bad holiday gift ideas:

Slumber Party Barbie 

On Christmas morning 1965, thousands of little girls ripped open the wrapping paper to find Slumber Party Barbie.

More like body image problem Barbie.

The doll came with a scale stuck on 110 lbs, and a tiny diet book that Barbie was presumably reading — with the words "Don't Eat," on the cover.

This one maybe wasn't specifically a Christmas idea, but girls receiving dolls for Christmas is an American trope that goes back to before Bing Crosby. This particular Barbie wasn't the only one from Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) that's left some parents shaking their heads. There was also 1990's Oreo Barbie, for example.

Is That the North Pole?

The worst doll Christmas gift, probably, however, wasn't a Barbie. That would likely be 2009’s pole dancing doll, though it’s not clear if it ever really was a widely marketed product.

Firestarter Snowman

Frosty the Snowman knew the sun was hot that day. So he directed and magnified the sunlight and caught everything nearby on fire!

Unfortunately, Hallmark Cards had to recall 7,000 snowman snow globes back in 2008 because they were basically acting like magnifying glasses and had the potential to ignite things, giving a luster of mid-day to objects nearby. Fortunately, nobody was injured. 

Not Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Back in 2011, Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) decided to roll out white cans as part of its polar bear-themed Christmas marketing. Customers hated it. Some said the white cans looked too much like silver Diet Coke cans — a problem for diabetics. Some said the white cans somehow made Coke taste "funny." Others just were angry at change. Coke quietly eased up on the plan and went back to mostly red cans for the holiday. 

Also Not Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Speaking of misunderstanding the term, "White Christmas," the Dorchester Historical Society in Boston had to redesign its Christmas cards this year. The card's designer didn't really think through a card that said "We're Dreaming of a White Dorchester." The community has a majority non-white population, so it seemed a bit threatening, even though the designer was just trying to play off the classic Christmas song. The museum was horrified and apologized.

Related Links:

Walmart Takes Down Christmas Sweater Featuring Coke-Snorting Santa, Others

Smells Like Chicken? This KFC-Scented Fire Log Is A Real Thing You Can Buy At Walmart

Public domain photo via Wikimedia

Posted-In: Barbie Christmas retailNews Retail Sales Top Stories General Best of Benzinga


Related Articles (KO + MAT)

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