Uh oh: The most-read-about crisis stories of 2019

From broken car windows to running out of chicken.

Elon Musk's reveal of the Cybertruck didn't go as planned. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Elon Musk's reveal of the Cybertruck didn't go as planned. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

PRWeek compiled a list of the most-read crisis stories of 2019. Mock if you dare, or take notes for your own crisis-response plans.

Brands react to Elon Musk’s live Cybertruck demo gone wrong
November 22

The Tesla demo memed around the world started with a bang and ended with a womp. The electric carmaker wanted to wow its audience by putting its "bulletproof glass" to the test by hurling a meal sphere at it. It got a smashed window instead. Journalists, pundits and brands riffed on the memeable moment and the bizarre car in (mostly) good humor. 

Unilever pledges no more PornHub campaigns after press criticism
November 5

Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club and Kraft Heinz’ Devour heard it from critics for advertising on PornHub after a Sunday Times investigation dredged up illegal content, including child pornography. Both pledged to stop advertising on the adult website.

Popeyes chicken sandwich shortage
August 29

To the anguish of customers — and the relief of chickens — Popeyes’ coveted chicken sandwiches sold out within two weeks. To capitalize on the hype, Popeyes sent out a job ad for its CMO position, luring candidates with the promise of free chicken sandwiches.

Rothy’s customers irked they’re not getting free shoes 
May 21

For sale: Rothy’s shoes, never used. A discount code promising free shoes made the rounds on the internet, but when fans of the shoe brand tried using the code, the company cancelled their orders. Predictably, people were upset. 

High-flying or flop? Should Southwest have blamed a union for cancellations?
February 22

A crisis involving an airline: not exactly a surprise. Southwest found itself the target of widespread criticism after cancelling 180 of its 4,000 flights in a single day in February. The company blamed the cancellations on a dispute with its mechanics union, which wasn’t sufficient for some angry customers. 

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