Top Five Evil Fictional Businesses through British History

- Leadership - Jul 22, 2014

What would business look like without limits? The unconstrained world of fiction has created companies with no boundaries for both the good and bad of humankind.

Storytelling is ever reminding us of what people and business could be capable of if imaginations and extreme ideals were played out for real.

Here we chart a brief history of fictional companies that decided against deploying any semblance of Corporate Social Responsibility. All are either originate from the UK or are based on British stories.

East India Trading Company – Pirates of the Caribbean (18th Century)

Intent on wiping out the pirate race and ruling the Caribbean with its Armada of fearsome warships, Jerry Bruckheimer’s version of the East India Trading Company looks far beyond that which sought out the riches of the undiscovered seas.

At the helm of operations and determined to see about an end to the free world is Lord Cutler Beckett, who seeks to blackmail the immortalised and cursed pirate Davy Jones into wiping out his competition by digging up his buried heart and threatening to kill him once and for all.

Scrooge & Marley – A Christmas Carol (19th Century)

A loan-shark operation in London created by Charles Dickens, Scrooge & Marley was infamous for its policy of forcing employees to work on Christmas Day that allowed the company to keep up with its mortgage foreclosures.

Seven years after partner Jacob Marley's death, owner Ebenezer Scrooge experienced a Christmas Eve revelation, convincing him to turn the company into a charitable organization. It went bankrupt shortly thereafter.

SPECTRE – James Bond (20th Century)

The Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, is arguably the most notorious of evil businesses that James Bond has to extinguish. Featuring in several of Ian Fleming’s stories, the global terror group is at its worst under the leadership of supervillain Blofeld.

Fleming's SPECTRE has elements inspired by mafia syndicates and organised crime rings that were actively hunted by law enforcement in the 1950s. The business attempted no less than blackmailing the western world by stealing nuclear arms, and also attempted to wipe out British livestock with the release of a deadly virus.

Mrs Tweedy’s Chicken Pies – Chicken Run (21st Century)

In the animated sphere, even small businesses can have the most evil of intentions. With the farm’s chickens failing to produce meaningful profit via their eggs, Mrs Tweedy adopts an automation strategy of the cruellest kind by investing in a giant pie-making machine.

While unproductive chickens were already given the axe for not laying eggs, the new machine was aimed at wiping out the entire batch who were to be inserted alive on a hanging conveyor belt. Thankfully the only victim of the horrors was Mrs Tweedy herself.

Bad Wolf Corporation – Dr Who (21st Century and beyond)

Run by the fearsome Daleks, the Bad Wolf franchise has appeared throughout the recent Dr Who series. One of its plans involved taking over British shows including What Not to Wear, Big Brother and The Weakest Link.

This involved replacing the original hosts with their Dalek impersonators, charged with exterminating the Doctor and his comrades.


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