NEW YORK (
withholding $50,000 in charity prize money because of a technical error was considered the dumbest thing on Wall Street this week by readers of
As of late Friday, about 56% of the more than 240 readers that
took our poll
thought that denying contestant Richard Marsh his prize money was a particularly bad idea.
Last weekend, Allstate sponsored the "Allstate Good Hands Shootout" between periods of the U.S. Hockey League's Indiana Ice game. Contestant Richard Marsh had an opportunity to win $50,000 by shooting a puck the length of the ice into a small cutout hole in the goal.
Marsh had the option of keeping the money or donating it. Prior to taking his shot he committed to donating the money if he made it.
And he did.
However it was later revealed that Marsh had stepped slightly ahead of the shooting line when he released his shot, so he would not get the prize money after all.
While Allstate looked like a bad loser, it turned out that another insurance agency was actually hired to provide the prize payout and decided to wave off the goal.
The owners of the Indiana Ice, Paul and Cindy Skjodt, decided to do the right thing and made a donation themselves. The amount was not disclosed, however.
So Allstate wasn't to blame. Even though they sponsored the contest, put their name on it and have built their entire brand image on being the company that cares for you when times are tough. Allstate stayed mum, and in so doing, gave perhaps the best example of how, regardless of their marketing message, insurance companies let people down.
With approximately 19% of votes, Wall Street's apoplectic reaction to the news that German
is buying a controlling stake in
was considered the second dumbest thing on Wall Street this week.
News of the deal enraged many on Wall Street Tuesday. Shorty after the announcement, the media was filled with an interesting mix of whining, xenophobia and self loathing from all sides of the political spectrum.
Donald Trump was quoted as saying "I think it's ridiculous that this country would allow Germany to buy our New York Stock Exchange. It's another black eye for the United States -- victory for Germany, not the United States."
Of course, he may have a grudge against Germany ever since
sued him for defaulting on a construction loan in 2008.
Then there was New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer who implied the deal could be held up by Congress unless the NYSE came first in any combined name.
While the NYSE was dominant for decades, it has become a bit of a dinosaur. The largest investors, including banks and hedge funds, predominantly trade equity shares off the NYSE and other public exchanges in private computer systems called electronic communications networks, or ECNs.
Also, the rise of private equity, hedge funds and other alternative investments means that money that used to be pushed into equity trades is now being pushed back and forth between large institutional investors only using lawyers in the middle.
The news that
launched a new Diet Pepsi "skinny can" was considered dumb by 10% of voters.
This week, the company unveiled its Diet Pepsi "skinny can" at New York Fashion Week.
"Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical campaigns, and we're proud to continue that tradition as an official sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week," said Jill Beraud, Pepsi's chief marketing officer. "Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks, and we're excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world."
Pepsi's idea of celebrating women, in this case, boils down to the formula skinny = attractive. By that logic, Pepsi can count itself among such other celebrators of women as Playboy, Victoria's Secret and beauty pageants. And if Pepsi is arguing that Fashion Week represents a celebration of women, good luck winning that argument with anyone outside the fashion industry.
"It is painful that a major fortune 500 company needs to denigrate the majority of women in this country to sell their products," said Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of the National Eating Disorder Association. "Most women are not skinny, nor should we encourage them to be anything but their own personal healthy size. The focus should be on health."
Close to 9% of voters found it dumb that
whoring may have inflated its holiday sales.
The New York Times
revealed this week that for several months around the key holiday season, the department store bested millions of Web sites to land the No. 1 spot for generic search terms like "bedding," "area rug" and "dresses." It even appeared on the top of Google's search ahead of larger and sometimes more relevant rivals like
also notes that the retailer was first on the list for months for more specific keywords like "Samsonite carry on luggage," even ahead of Samsonite.com, the actual maker of the luggage.
While J.C. Penney denied any participation in search engine manipulation, and subsequently worked on removing the links, the
found numerous sites unrelated to J.C. Penney or its merchandise, linking back to the department store. These links could be powerful enough to boost its e-commerce site to the head of Google search.
estimates that landing the No. 1 search term spot could attract up to 4 million visitors per month. While not all of these visits necessarily translated into sales, the company did note in its December same-store sales release that its e-commerce site reported strong growth, with significant increases in traffic and orders.
Almost 6% of voters think that
leaking information on its possible upcoming
is pretty dumb.
The company, or select insiders, leaked to the media a little peek ahead at what might be in store later this year.
have been around for three years or more, but kudos Apple for keeping the flame burning.
Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston
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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.