Perfectly meaningless: can you top these vacuous COVID-19 emails?

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Of course your inbox is full of virus-driven emails. And of course they mostly suck. By now, most companies have sent their stupid email and then learned to shut up. But not all of them. If you have nothing to say in this difficult time, say nothing. It’s rare that I see an email that … Continued

Fanduel offers bullshit excuses for not paying for its own mistakes

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Anthony Prince placed a $110 bet on FanDuel that, according to posted odds, should have paid off $82,000. But FanDuel said the odds were posted in error and wouldn’t pay. Now it’s paying what it should . . . but its statement allows it to weasel out of future similar payments. I call bullshit. How … Continued

Adobe acquires Magento to become “shoppable” — and maximally buzzword-compliant

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Adobe announced yesterday that it would acquire commerce platform Magento for $1.68 billion. It’s clear that an army of lawyers and PR people spent days crafting the 1001-word announcement, with is laden with highly refined, state-of-the-art tech-vendor bullshit. So let’s take the announcement apart. I’ll highlight jargon in bold and meaningless weasel words in italic, and … Continued

United Airlines should learn that you can’t create consistency with a lottery

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United Airlines attempted to replace its employee bonuses with a lottery. This is a “motivational” idea so stupid that, after the employee backlash, the company had to “press pause” on it. Ironically, the plan was an attempt to encourage employees to be more consistently caring — but a plan like that shouldn’t start with random … Continued

KFC answers the question: when are you allowed to be funny in a crisis?

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KFC ran out of chicken in the UK. They had to close their restaurants, and then explain themselves. They decided to poke fun at themselves . . . which is great, so long as nobody gets hurt. KFC suffered a distribution problem, which meant, basically, no chicken. Their first decision — to close the restaurants … Continued

Tesco layoff announcement begs the question “Is there a good way to say ‘You’re all fired?’ “

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UK retailer Tesco laid off 1,200 people, one-quarter of its headquarters staff. Its layoff announcements have become perfunctory and heartless. Should we praise the company’s honesty? Here’s the public statement from Tesco, as reported in The Independent: This is a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business. This new service model will … Continued

Winners of the 2016 Bullshitty Awards

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2016 was a shitty year for most of us . . . but a great year for bullshit. Thanks to your votes, I can now announce the winners of the 2016 Bullshitty Awards. Here’s the live video. Winners listed below. Most disingenuous apology Nominees Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences … Continued

Chipotle’s weasel words are sickening

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Chipotle Mexican Grill’s CEO Steve Ells is “deeply sorry” after 141 of his customers in Boston College contracted Norovirus. This comes in the wake of virus outbreaks in nine other states over the past year. The restaurant chain has deployed a team of copywriters to solve the problem. Their efforts on the company’s website gave me a stomachache. … Continued