Sometimes an ad is just an ad, and sometimes you screw up in ways that will resonate for a long time. My mother still talks about one particularly awful promotion: a local department store which, at the height of the 1968 riots, ran ads to alert customers that while their downtown stores had to close, their suburban stores would remain open for business. Every other department store in the region closed down in honor of Martin Luther King.

Even though the company changed ownership, my mother didn’t set foot in their stores for over 35 years.

Now comes Acme Markets, which just ran a promotion under a Black History Month banner that includes discounts on corn bread, collard greens, and grape soda. What were they thinking?

Well, at least this should lay to rest all discussion about whether we still need Black History Month.

What ads have cost companies your business? If a company later regained your support, how did they do it?