Working in radio, one of your jobs is to make sure that you promote your sponsors in a positive way that reflects well on your brand and theirs. After all, our sponsors make our programming possible, and we always want to help locally owned businesses in particular get the word out about the services they provide for our friends and neighbors.

Sometimes part of the job is telling a sponsor when a proposed promotion or commercial script might not be good for their image or the community they're trying to serve. Personally, I've found that most sponsors react positively to such honesty, and appreciate you looking out for them. They're human too, and we all make mistakes.

I recently came across a Bloomberg article that got me to thinking about how easy it can be to make a marketing blunder that can wreck your company's reputation and, in some extreme cases, get people hurt or killed. I remembered a few examples from my childhood and from recent years, and thought I'd share them here as cautionary tales for anyone currently working on marketing ideas of their own.