The naming of a storm seems innocuous enough. After all, when some sort of weather event – be it a hurricane, tropical storm, blizzard or flood – comes along, we as human beings are going to talk about it, and having a name makes that a much easier process.

So, the marketing folk at Sassenbach, the ad agency used by Mini in its home country, probably thought it would be harmless and fun to buy the naming rights for an upcoming storm in Germany (as an aside... yes, you apparently can buy the naming rights to a storm in Germany!) to get people talking about Mini, even when not directly referencing their cars.

Harmless, though, it was not. As it turned out, Weather System Cooper spread snow, ice and freezing temperatures throughout all of Europe, claiming the lives of at least 100 people and sending thousands to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia and frostbite.

According to BBC News, both Mini and the ad agency have stopped commenting on the apparent flub, having previously stated that they didn't have direct control over which storm front would be named and couldn't know in advance how severe any specific storm may be.

While that's obviously true, we bet Mini and Sassenbach are praying to the god of good weather that Weather System Minnie – they bought the rights to two storms, presumably before the first turned into an unmitigated disaster – brings nothing worse than sunshine, rainbows and unicorns to the woebegone victims of Storm Cooper's swath of destruction.

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