NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Kenneth Cole ( KCP) joking about the political upheaval and violence in Egypt was considered the dumbest thing on Wall Street this week by readers of TheStreet.
As of late Friday, about 50% of the more than 200 readers that took our poll thought that Kenneth Cole using the conflict in Egypt to draw attention to its brand was a particularly bad idea. "Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they hear our new spring collection is now available online," the fashion brand posted to Twitter on Thursday morning. Kenneth Cole's distasteful tweet possessed the brand-damaging tone deafness you'd expect when jumping on the bandwagon of trending mob violence in the Middle East in order to draw attention to overpriced shoes and apparel. The inappropriate tweet garnered instantaneous backlash and criticism. The company quickly apologized for its faux pas: "Re Egypt Tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment. - KC" With approximately 34% of votes, the news that Microsoft's ( MSFT) Bing may be stealing its search results from Google ( GOOG) was voted the second-dumbest thing on Wall Street this week. Google created traps to catch Bing in the act by creating "synthetic queries." Using a mishmash like "delhipublicschool40 chdjob" as a search term, Google affixed an Ohio credit union site to the results that came back. Soon after, says Google, Bing's results for that query also turned up the same credit union.
Bing chief Harry Shum called it a "spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking." Shum didn't deny that Bing copied Google's search results; in fact he tried to put it in a larger we-are-all-on-the-same-team perspective in his blog post. "The history of the Web and the improvement of a broad array of consumer and business experiences is actually the story of collective intelligence, from sharing HTML documents to hypertext links to click data and beyond. Many companies across the Internet use this collective intelligence to make their products better every day," Shum wrote. Pepsi ( PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi saying Doritos are not unhealthy was considered dumb by 9% of voters. "Doritos are not bad for you," Nooyi said, a comment caught by Consumerist.com. "Doritos are nothing more than corn mashed up, fried up in oil, and flavored in the most delectable way." Nooyi followed up with what you knew had to be coming. "Everything in moderation," she said. According to Consumerist.com, Nooyi even tried to argue that soda isn't bad for you because it was "discovered in a pharmacy." Close to 6% of voters found it dumb that CBS is refusing to run the National Football League Player Association's anti-lockout ad during a college football game on Saturday. The minute-long commercial in question alludes to the pending lockout threat if NFL owners and players cannot reach a new labor agreement by March 3 CBS's ( CBS) handling of its relationship with the NFL has been tricky at best during the last 20 years. Last season the NFL reached 207.7 million unique viewers and boosted average viewership for CBS's AFC contests by 9% from 17.2 million in 2009-10 to 18.7 million this season.
CBS, however, is still haunted by memories of Fox seeing its $290 million bid for four years of NFL rights in 1993 and raising it to $1.5 billion. That left CBS without NFL coverage for four years after 38 years of partnership with the league and forced it to fill time with NASCAR races and other, lesser fare, which inspired several of its affiliates in NFC cities -- including Detroit, Atlanta and Milwaukee -- to go with Fox instead. When CBS finally got NFL games back in 1998, it paid $500 million a year for eight years and hasn't paid a penny less since. The NFLPA may have a commercial and famous faces, but it doesn't dole out the TV contracts or decide who carries the biggest game of the year. As it stands now, CBS is in line to broadcast Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013 and has a lot to make up for when it does. Super Bowl ad prices and ad revenue have only dropped three times in the last decade. In two of those three years -- 2007 and 2010 -- CBS was the network setting the rates. CBS, perhaps more than anyone, realizes how much money is on the table when dealing with the NFL and legitimately may not want to take sides in this labor dispute, as CBS spokeswoman Dana McClintock said earlier this week. But multimillion-dollar salaries or not, the players that CBS just rebuffed are the same individuals who put their necks and other essential appendages on the line to bring in those big football ratings each week. Almost 2% of voters think that Jackson Hewitt ( JTX) lawsuit against H&R Block ( HRB) is pretty dumb. Hewitt is claiming that H&R Block has been tainting its good name by saying that Hewitt makes mistakes on two out of every three of the returns it prepares. H&R Block has even gone so far as to litter Hewitt's offices with pamphlets accusing its much smaller competitor of being less than accountable at accounting. If it's true, we think H&R Block needs to up its game, maybe take a page from history's major armed conflicts and start air dropping its propaganda behind enemy lines. Hewitt takes the paranoia as far as it can, alleging that H&R Block is simply bitter after a ruling in December that said it could not continue offering refund anticipation loans from HSBC. -- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Theresa McCabe. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to @TheresaMcCabe. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.