The Dayton Daily News reports that the Tea Party Exchange—a program designed to pair Tea Party members with Tea Party-friendly businesses in a discount program to raise money for the Tea Party has folded… after being announced on Friday.

The reasons are multiple.

First, there was a massive boycott from customers who swore they’d never dine or use the services of any business on the exchange:

The number of businesses participating was just more than two dozen after several dropped out when customers complained.

Then, there was mass confusion and disagreements between the organizers and the participating businesses as to how it would work.

Companies paid Hutchinson at least $150 annually to participate and then were to donate to Tea Party groups 5 percent of the amount spent by consumers who carried a TPX-Great American Card. Hutchinson had originally said the consumers would also get a discount.

Then, it turned out that the organizer was using… a off-shore company to create the website for the exchange:

Hutchinson was criticized for outsourcing to India database programming for the Tea Party Exchange website.

How bad did it get?  Well, the organizer’s own company dropped out of the Exchange in the face of the public controversy over it.

But you have to hand it to a guy who refuses to admit it failed.  Here’s what the official website of the Tea Party Exchange says:


Must have been some test market.  It lasted a whole weekend, and I’m not sure even a single customer actually got to USE the “discount” card.

Has there ever been a more spectacular marketing FAIL?

Okay, but it’s close.

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