There's nothing like a controversy to put the reputation of a company, organisation or individual under the spotlight.
Handled incorrectly, virtually any issue can divide opinion, with some - see the list below - taking up permanent residence in news headlines across the globe.
Whether you're in the 'pro' or 'anti' camp, the main challenge is dealing with having less control of the narrative. No longer is it the case that corporations or grassroots organisations - no matter well-funded or well organized - can maintain a vice-like grip on the moral high ground or, perhaps more importantly, the hearts and minds of the masses.
The speed and dominance of social media means that the normal channels through which a case or cause would be promoted, have been rendered 'second rate'. How many times have you seen a TV report of a story that had been trending on Twitter for several days?
The rapid and significant change in how information is consumed also brought a new reality: ordinary people are now active contributors and a vocal and vibrant part of a story, whether or not they are personally involved.
Also in the mix are organisations like Change.org and 38degrees through which individuals from anywhere in the world, plus a few not-for-profits are able to breathe life into issues through petitions and sponsored campaigns.
Their increasing popularity means that the potential for more (and bigger) controversies is here right now.
Companies spend anything from a few hundred to several millions each year on marketing their products to the masses.
Virtually none of them talk about how ordinary their product is, or how expensive it is compared on a like-for-like basis with competing products.
As consumers, we almost expect the adjectives extolling the virtues of 'Product X' or 'Service Y', rather than the brutal, honest truth about their ordinariness.
Under-promising and over-delivering is often not seen as a viable option for many businesses, as screaming headlines with seemingly irresistible offers from bitter rivals can often capture the imagination and wallets of 'cash rich, time poor' buyers...and make the difference between survival or failure.
So they 'pimp their prose', 'accentuate their positives' and apply a healthy dose of lipstick on their pig of a product.
Of course, the clever marketers know very well not to tell an outright lie. The risks are far too high these days. What many appear to be doing these days is stretching the truth to breaking point - you know who you are - and staying on the right side of the ethical divide (just) and just under the radar of advertising regulators.
Ultimately - and in my humble view - the modern consumer generally accepts and is savvy about the extent of 'weasel words' used in advertising campaigns, and can filter out the more fantastical claims and vivid imagery used to push everything from acne cream and air fresheners to vintage champagne and luxury cars.
Where people are less accepting is a brand not living up to its hype.
If you're brand owner concerned about preserving your reputation, check out the eight things that can hurt you below.
Today's infographic asks a simple question: 'what does your online image project about you'?
It's a simple enough question, but one which I often find myself asking people who have got themselves into easily avoidable 'cyber shame' situations.
Most of them appear to have had a genuinely held, but ultimatelynaive belief that they can somehow control what people say or think about them online.
Every event you are photographed attending, every comment you utter, tweet you make, update you post or friend request that you accept may add to people's overall impression of you.
Those viewing your profile could just be from your network, or - and this is increasingly the case - a potential employer or business partner.
A simple way of managing your reputation yourself is by doing a regular 'audit' in which you deactivate old, irrelevant and/or inappropriate social media profiles, 'de-friend' suspect connections, update the privacy settings for your social networking accounts and generally be vigilant when it comes to group photographs - especially those that you wouldn't want shared on the internet in the cold light of day.
If further proof were needed for the popularity of social networking, you need look no further than Gary Hayes' social media counts, from Personalize Media.
It may no be a 100% accurate breakdown of online activity, but it still works as a fascinating graphical representation of online activity.
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.