BBC Two’s canon of great business programming has a new entry – Business Nightmares With Evan Davis – which, if you’ve not yet seen it already, you really must check out before it vanishes from the iPlayer.
The series explores the mistakes and misjudgements which tripped up some of the world’s biggest brands.
Cock-ups featured in the first two episodes include Coke’s dual cock-ups of a new recipe and the disaster that was the UK launch of Dasani, through Apple’s handling of the iPhone 4 antenna woes and Gerald Ratner’s infamous comments.
Each is discussed both by business superstars including Richard Branson and James Dyson and, impressively, some of the people responsible.
Participation by the insiders is the show’s real triumph and helps humanise what, on first look, are simply tales of rich people and big businesses loosing money. It would be a hard man who didn’t feel more than a pang of sorrow for Ratner as he recounted the inside story of his fall from grace in tonight’s episode.
Equally praiseworthy is the show’s role in reminding the audience that the UK has some major success stories of its own in the world of global commerce.
And, like those programmes from the BBC’s golden past, it manages to be informative and accessible without once being patronising. In many ways Business Nightmares is like a peek back in time to an age where all TV was made to be excellent.
If you’ve not yet seen them, the final episode airs this Thursday, parts 1 & 2 are currently on the iPlayer.