The 2002 Winners: 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
Business 2.0 has published its third annual listing of what it calls "the most ill-conceived, embarrassing, and downright appalling developments of the past year," aptly dubbed the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.
The listing is off and running with the Grand Prize winner of the 2002 dumbest moment, Midas, the company that featured an elderly women in its television ads baring her chest off camera to a supposed Midas mechanic and asking, "So what can you do with these?"
Other amusing award winners include the short-lived ABC television entry into the Fall 2002 lineup, "Push, Nevada," the much-hyped, little-watched television mystery that focused on an IRS revenue agent on the trail of a hidden $1,000,000. The hook to keep the audiences entranced was the promise of a $1,000,000 bounty to an audience member who helped solve the mystery. Poor ratings resulted in the show being ordered off the air after only a few of the episodes had aired. Undaunted, ABC wrapped up the show in seven episodes and awarded the money to a television audience member who had tuned in to the show by mistake.
Winner of the lifetime achievement award was Merit Industries, the company that issued an award of its own on Martin Luther King Day to honor prominent black citizens. A slogan affixed to a plaque meant for James Earl Jones and created for the event read," Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive."
Members of the accounting profession were not shirked by the awards. William Webster who did a brief stint last year as the chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was noted for his disclosure of a 2001 vote when he was on the board of U.S. Technologies. He voted to dismiss auditors who questioned the company's accounting policies.
And PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting company got its due for its feeble attempt to rename and rebrand the company as Monday. Monday quietly faded away when IBM bought the firm a few months after the name change announcement.
Enjoy a break and read about such other 2002 notables as Miss Cleo, Martha Stewart, and Kmart. Perhaps you'll get some ideas about who we can expect to see on the list for 2003. You can read the entire list of 2002 winners.