Would you buy something from someone who told you their product was "crap"? Unless you were purchasing some manure for the garden, the answer is surely no. Maybe someone should have told Gerald Ratner this before he opened his mouth at an Institute of Directors dinner in 1991. The owner of the hugely successful jewellery chain joked that some of his goods were total crap and that some of his earrings were cheaper than a prawn sandwich. As soon as the media got hold of this gaffe, all of Ratner's credibility went down the pan and it wasn't too long before the Ratner's chain disappeared from the high streets.