While they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, the following companies chose to test that theory with ads that sparked a backlash for content viewers deemed offensive.
Volkswagen is the latest brand to come under fire after its 2013 Super Bowl commercial was branded 'like blackface with voices' for depicting a white Minnesota man speaking in a thick Jamaican accent.
Other have pushed the bounds of decency with ads deemed too racist, sexist or risqué for TV.
Are they genuinely offensive or just the target of over-sensitive viewers?
Check out ninemsn's video gallery and make up your own mind.