8 big brand flameouts in 2018

By Published on .

Credit: Bloomberg

There were brand fails this year as there are every year: bad tweets, accidentally racist ads, data missteps. Snafus from which brands emerge battered and bruised, but ultimately ... fine.

And then there were total flameouts. Sometimes a brand simply goes down. No coming back. In that category, it was a rocky year, especially for mall brands. And Roseanne Barr. Here are the most notable.


The 125-year-old company struggled to find its path in the e-commerce era. In October, Sears filed for bankruptcy protection.

Toys R Us

A year ago, Toys R Us tried to reverse its fortunes with a nostalgic ad that remixed vintage footage of its famous "I don't wanna grow up" commercials. It didn't work. The brand shut its 800 U.S. locations.

Ivanka Trump

President Trump's daughter, who serves as a White House adviser, closed her namesake fashion brand. Some merch is still around online, though—you can buy a royal blue cami for $12.72 via Filene's Basement.

Time Inc.

The Time Inc. empire was bought by Meredith Corp., which quickly pried the signage off the New York headquarters. The Time name lives on through its namesake magazine, bought by Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne.

Papa John

Papa John's the pizza chain is ticking along, but founder John Schnatter is another story. The Papa John had an epic flameout after using a racial slur on a conference call. His image was stripped off pizza boxes, and he was evicted from the company's headquarters. He still owns a 30 percent slice of the company, though, which is awkward.

Michael Avenatti

For a few months, it seemed the media-savvy lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels would run for president in 2020. Never mind.

Megyn Kelly

Note: Never, ever ask, "what is racist?" about wearing blackface on Halloween.

Roseanne Barr

This started out as Barr's year, with ABC's reboot of "Roseanne" the No. 1 series on TV. Then came her infamous racist tweet. ABC killed off her character with an opioid overdose.

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