Good Riddance, 2017: Top Stories Of The Year

As was the case last year, the list of the most-read Top of the News stories in 2017 is dominated by the negative, from the decline of some once-dominant retailers and the malls they thrived in to some appalling decisions by employees and/or their marketing sherpas. Then there’s the “Trump Slump,” which actually has nothing to do with the President’s postureposturing or lack of popularity.

Here then — starting with No. 10 — are the most popular stories judged solely by eyeballs reached.



J.Crew Responds To Problems Some Might Call No-Brainers
May 25

As the summer season opens in the Hamptons this weekend, all eyes are not so much on J.Crews’ hemlines as they are on its bottom line.  

Late last month, chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler announced several strategic changes he said were designed “to move us forward in a more efficient and dynamic way.” Translation: we are switching up the leadership and letting go 150 full-time staffers and eliminating 100 open positions to stay out of bankruptcy court.

Judge Blocks Merger Of Aetna And Humana On Antitrust Grounds
Jan. 24

A federal judge ruled yesterday that the proposed $37 billion merger between Aetna and Humana would be anticompetitive, particularly when it comes to seniors in the Medicare Advantage marketplace. The ruling casts doubt on the likelihood that a similar pending alliance between Anthem and Cigna, already under fire on multiple fronts, will get a green light from the courts and regulators.

United Does It Again: Manhandles Passenger And PR Aftermath
April 11

Should you be on a social media sabbatical, United Airlines has once again ignited the twitterverse with a decidedly unfriendly action against a passenger Sunday. It then followed through with tone-deaf responses to the situation from the CEO down.

'Trump Slump' In Tourism Taking Hold
March 1

It’s only a few weeks old but it already has a moniker — The Trump Slump — although a slowdown in tourism dollars was already evident before the administration’s immigration policies, which put a real damper on foreigners’ desire to travel to the United States.

Burger King's Whopper Of A Voice-Activated Misfire
April 13

“Google, how can a clever idea go wrong?”

The creatives at Burger King agency David might as well have asked that question rather than rely on their native wits for a :15 that, if nothing else, drew a little of the attention away from United’s and Pepsi’s recent gaffes yesterday.

Victoria Beckham For Target Gets Boost From Fashion Press
April 10

More than 200 Victoria Beckham for Target items went on sale online and in the aisles yesterday with a big boost from fashion writers who somehow got an advance peek at the collection and are eager to reveal their top picks to the rest of us. Even Beckham herself — reluctantly, of course — got into the game of singling out favorites.

United Airlines Takes Flak Over 'Leggings-Gate'
March 27

United Airlines is the latest company to learn that nothing noticed goes untweeted and anything tweeted can blow up into a major controversy within hours even if — or, maybe, particularly if — your social media team is standing by in rapid-response mode with a canned answer.

McDonald's Serves Up A Fast Food, Fast Delivery Future
March 2

McDonald’s came to the ball with fast food and — after a few spins on the floor with salads, oatmeal and other enticing suitors gussied up in healthy raiments — it is sticking with it. It’s also revamping delivery worldwide with the launch of a mobile “order and pay” app this year that will accommodate curbside pickup and it told those assembled at its investors conference in Chicago yesterday that it is “experimenting” with other ways of getting Big Macs and new menu items to the masses.

Dove Apologizes For 3-Second GIF Widely Viewed As Racist
Oct. 9

Unilever’s Dove again found itself apologizing for an ad and defending itself against charges of promulgating racist imagery after it posted a three-second gif on Facebook “showing a black woman taking off her brown shirt to reveal a white woman, who then took off her lighter-colored shirt, revealing a woman of color in a slightly darker shirt,” as the AP reports. 

Only Option Left For The Limited: Online Sales
Jan. 9

Dedicated followers of The Limited are finding their options are just that after the retailer revealed Friday that it was shutting down all 250 of its shops and reportedly will lay off about 4,000 workers, about 800 of whom are full-time staffers.

Ah, well … who knows? Maybe the new year will be blessed with more upbeat stories along the lines of Victoria Beckham’s victory on the pitch of media coverage (us included).

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