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9 Biggest Brand Backlashes

Biggest Brand Backlashes

Oops! We guess Gap learned the hard way that a popular brand should never mess with a good thing. Last month, the well-known company unveiled a new "more contemporary, modern expression" of its much-loved classic logo and consumers everywhere balked big time. After just one week -- and a massive outpouring of critical comments -- Gap announced it was reverting to the iconic blue box logo.

The near-universal disdain for Gap's new logo reminded us of another colossal brand blunder: New Coke. In 1985, The Coca-Cola Company launched a new formula intended to "energize" the Coke brand, but instead, it ignited a firestorm of protest. Here's how Coke's own website describes the resulting outrage:

"Calls flooded in not just to the 800-GET-COKE phone line, but to Coca-Cola offices across the United States. By June 1985, The Coca-Cola Company was getting 1,500 calls a day on its consumer hotline, compared with 400 a day before the taste change. People seemed to hold any Coca-Cola employee -- from security officers at our headquarters building to their neighbors who worked for Coke -- personally responsible for the change."

In the end, after just 79 days, the company responded to customer demand and brought back the original cola as Coca-Cola Classic.

But Gap and Coke are not alone in sparking public outcries that force management to take a second look at their brand blunder. WalletPop found nine more examples of marketing moves that made customers say, "Heck, no!" The backlash in six of these cases was strong enough that each company was forced to do a 360, or at least make concessions to appease consumers.

Read on for a look at what happens when good brands make bad moves -- and consumer outcry follows.

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

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