Burning question: who buggered their brand best?

Kevin Roberts, The Chiefs or Donald Trump? Re-live the agony, then vote in our poll.

The reputations of several individuals and organisations have taken some hard knocks in the media over the past week.

The burning question is, who buggered their brand best?

The contenders:

(1) Ad guru and/or “idiotic dinosaur-like” man Kevin Roberts attracted a great deal of ire for declaring the gender diversity debate in the advertising industry is “f***ing ... over” during an interview with Business Insider (Australia).

In response to the furore that followed the Saatchi & Saatchi chairman’s comments being published, the chairman of parent company Publicis Groupe declared the remarks "offensive in terms of language and tonality" and Mr Roberts was on forced leave as a result.

Mr Roberts then issued a statement apologising for the offence people had taken and announcing he was essentially quitting the “companies I love and have been devoted to for almost 20 years” by “bringing forward my May 1, 2017, retirement” to the start of next month.

NBR’s comments section ran hot with varied views on whether Mr Roberts deserved the approbation heaped upon him or the whole episode was an Orwellian exercise in punishing perceived thought crimes.

(2) Super Rugby team the Chiefs hit the headlines not once but twice over the behaviour of its players at a post-season ‘Mad Monday’ shindig.

Although the apology proffered by chief executive Andrew Flexman and player Michael Allardice over a homophobic slur uttered by the latter man was generally considered to be well handled, Mr Flexman fumbled the way he handled allegations about players mistreating a stripper when he initially sought to cast doubt on the woman’s account by suggesting her “standing in the community and culpability is not beyond reproach.”

Apparently keen to share the odium, Chiefs sponsor Gallagher Group also copped flak after its corporate services executive Margaret Comer suggested the alleged incident was the stripper’s fault, saying, “If a woman takes her clothes off and walks around in a group of men, what are we supposed to do if one of them tries to touch her.”

Both Mr Flexman and Ms Comer have since apologised for their “poor choice of words.”

(3) No list of faux pas would be complete without US presidential candidate and/or “human dumpster fire” Donald Trump, who capped a run of gaffes and questionable actions (including dissing the parents of a US soldier who died in combat) by – as NBC memorably described it – appearing “to feud with a crying baby during a rally.” (Not that it's likely to dent his appeal to the constituency he’s been courting, of course.)

And the winner (by which we mean loser) is?

That’s entirely up to you – please make your feelings known via the poll on this page and, of course, in the comments section.

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