No news story or advertisement that hits the television screen comes without its fair share of controversy. This might be because when these ads show up in-between segments of night time TV, they enter into consumers' homes. And when a food company has a slip up, they not only enter their consumer's homes, they enter their stomachs, so it's personal. 

Plenty of advertisements and scandals come and go without causing too big of a hiccup, but some, like these, are the public relations department's worst nightmare

1. Pepsi's Ad Featuring Kendall Jenner

While it's not uncommon for companies to use celebrities such as Kendall Jenner in their ads to help promote their products, Pepsi's protest-themed commercial struck a cord with quite a few of their customers.

The video showcases Kendall Jenner participating in a political rally. During the commercial, she shares a can of Pepsi with one of the police officers as an effort to keep the peace between the protestors and law enforcement. Unfortunately, the ad gave Pepsi a real life protest of their own.

Social media blew up in accusation of Pepsi minimizing the social issues happening in America, by suggesting it could all be cured with a can of soda. The ad was quickly pulled off the air when Pepsi realized the negative stir their commercial created. Both Kendall and Pepsi issued an apology, but the wave they created was far from gone.

2. Chipotle's E. Coli Outbreak

Chipotle, burrito bowl, Chipotle Burrito Bowl
Jocelyn Hsu

Like I said, when it comes to feeding customers, it gets personal.

Chipotle executives quickly closed all restaurants temporarily due to an E. coli break out that started in Fall 2015, and implemented serious health protocol's for their employees to follow. Equally as quickly, corporate saw a significant drop in sales, after losing the trust of most of their customer base.

Since reopening their doors, Chipotle has offered promotions, coupons and upgraded their menu to regain their customer's loyalty. Judging by their long lines, Chipotle seems to be getting back on track.

3. IHOP's Tumultuous Tweets

In October 2015, IHOP posted a tweet that was later deleted featuring a pic of a stack of pancakes accompanied by a caption that said, "flat but has a GREAT personality," in reference to women with smaller breasts in hopes of promoting their pancakes. This tweet was followed by a number of other creative twists on phrases, generally used to degrade women.

Immediately, IHOP's twitter following threw some serious backlash at the popular breakfast chain for their insensitive promotions.

Kudos to IHOP's marketing department for reaching out to a younger clientele through social media, but using casual misogyny to do so is not sending the right message.

Next time you sign onto Twitter, IHOP, do better.

4. Dannon's Dropped Endorsement

Dannon learned the hard way that who you choose to endorse your product can make or break your promotion. In the case of Cam Newton, his sexist comments to a female reporter during a press conference caused Dannon to pull their commercials featuring the quarterback shortly after.

Specifically, when asked about a teammates execution of certain routes, Newton laughed and responded by saying that "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes." It wasn't until Newton was dropped from multiple endorsements and came under fire on social media, that he issued an apology.

Although Cam has come out with a public apology, Dannon stands by their decision to exclude him from their advertisements. Their executives issued a statement emphasizing the company's commitment to equality and inclusion.

5. Trader Joes' Listeria Trouble

Grocery Shopping, grocery story, egg carton, reusable bags, orange, egg, Trader Joe's, apple
Caroline Ingalls

Throughout the past two years, Trader Joe's has had to announce multiple recalls, on multiple products due to possible listeria contamination. Certain frozen vegetable products, granola products and hummus flavors have been pulled from the shelves in separate listeria outbreak incidences.

Although food safety disasters like these ones are always PR nightmares, Trader Joe's handled theirs with honesty and respect to their customer base. They quickly announced the harmful products and informed their customers of the threat listeria poses to young children, pregnant women and elderly people.

6. McDonald's and #McDStories

On Twitter, McDonald's asked people to share their favorite stories with others using the hashtag #McDStories. Instead, users took it as an opportunity to share their most miserable experiences at the popular fast food chain. This campaign caused headlines like "When a Hashtag Becomes a Bashtag" on articles from internet news sources.

Twitter was full of stories of bones in chicken nuggets, health code violations, incorrect orders and moldy ingredients; which was enough from McDonald's executives to bring the campaign to a premature end.

7. Burger King's Contaminated Lettuce

One of Burger King's now former employees posted a photo of their own two feet standing on two containers of lettuce on "4chan," thus captioning it: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."

4chan users decided to use this pic as the perfect opportunity to troll the employee, then proceeded to call and email the Burger King location where the pic was taken. In turn, they caused the post to go viral and a PR nightmare for the executives at Burger King.

After all of the calls and emails stopped pouring in, three employees at that specific Burger King location were fired for their actions. Hopefully, Burger King has taken precautions against rebellious employees in the mean time and is dedicated to only serving safe and reputable products.

8. Taco Bell's Peed on Nachos

nachos, guacamole, sauce, salsa, chili, tomato, cheese, vegetable
Elizabeth Dieterich

A former Taco Bell employee was suspended and then fired, managing to end his time working for the chain by posting a video in a since-deleted tweet of him urinating over a pile of nachos. 

This prank was a part of a "p*ss olympics" run by this employee and his friends, but he took this challenge way too far. Luckily, he did not serve the nachos.

Taco Bell seems to have recovered, since this food safety catastrophe, but come on, did anybody really trust their door to begin with?

9. Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A Executives

pizza, beer
Shaq Junaid

Five years after announcing their opposition to gay marriage in support 0f biblical families, Chick-fil-A's negative press surrounding the topic has roared back up. After coming under serious fire for their exclusive business plan, executives decided to just focus on the chicken and stay out of politics.

However, it seems as though Chick-fil-A has far from stuck to their word. Corporate offices donated more than $1 million to organizations with strong anti-gay messages. This may seem like a thrifty plan by the fast food chain to keep the business of their anti-gay fan base.

The chain has also made little to no attempt to implement a policy in the spirit of inclusion and equal opportunity. If they don't start to shape up soon, I might have to start eating less chicken.

10. KFC's Provocative PR

chicken, meat
Yu-Shing Ni

Last year, KFC posted a seriously dirty tweet to promote their new Hot and Spicy products. The line was coined by marketing a #NSFW, or not safe for work. If the ad would have displayed customers with their mouth on fire at work or something along those lines, it definitely wouldn't have made this list.

However, the tweet featured a couple sitting on the couch, preforming almost pornographic acts, captioned: "WARNING: #NSFW Something Hot and Spicy coming soon." Twitter users immediately responded to the raunchy promotion; they called out KFC for not only crossing the line, but for mysogny and sexism as well.

KFC did delete the tweet and issue and apology that recognized their error in judgement, but had to take a hard look at their marketing department.

11. Whole Food's Fat Shaming 

Whole foods market sign, Whole Foods Market, shopping, groceries, Grocery Shopping
Shelby Cohron

Whole Foods is every health nut's version of Disney World, but CEO John Mackey is doing a good job of making his overweight employees feel more than uncomfortable coming to work. 

He unveiled the Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive, which is a voluntary "heath promotion" program that offers employees with lower BMI's, higher store discounts in an effort to reduce their health care expenses. They even described the program as a "win-win" for employees and shareholders of the company.

The internet and news sources combated Whole Foods' new policy, calling them out for fat shaming. Any reputable company who's mission is improving the health of their customers and employees, should support every journey, no matter what dress size they wear.

How a company presents themselves on social media can say a lot about their core values and empathy for their consumers. But just like people, every marketing department makes mistakes. However, it's hard not to think of these PR nightmares when you think of your favorite brand.

Try not to hold too much of a grudge, but keep these slip ups in mind next time you're in the check out line of the supermarket.