Document Type : Original Research


1 School of Business, Malaysia University of Science and Technology, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

2 Malaysia University of Science and Technology, Petaling Jaya, Selangor


This research paper is aimed at highlighting various controversies created by certain global marketing and advertising practices by several organizations including leading multinational corporations. Before showcasing the actual controversial marketing campaigns and advertisements, this article deals with introductory aspects of marketing and advertising , the impact of marketing on customers’ behaviours and offers an overview of global marketing. This paper describes the marketing mishaps including Pepsi’s advertisement campaign featuring Kendall Jenner, IKEA’s Saudi Arabia product catalogue, Audi’s car commercial in China, Dove’s social media campaign, Boden’s catalogue and more recent Surf Excel India’s Holi advertisement. All these campaigns and advertisements landed the respective companies into controversies drawing serious public flak and online uproar against them. This article also largely examines the underlying causes behind these controversies and offers broad guidelines and thumb rules to avoid such controversies. Finally, this research article concludes by summarily outlining the key contours and takeaways of the entire research paper.


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