I just saw an online news article on DealBook with the headline “Greenhill Says 2 Executives Die in Plane Crash.” The article goes on to explain that two of the investment firm’s executives died in the New Jersey crash of a private jet. Right within the article is a display ad for CitationAir that sells, “Give the gift of flight with a CitationAir Jet Card.” How is that for bad positioning?
This was probably what is known as a “context” buy, where an ad is placed within articles with related content to what is being sold. In this case the computers that placed the ad got related context, but it was negative.
Not as bad as naming a brand of luggage Amelia Earhart on purpose years ago, but a mistake never the less.