Social coupon giant Groupon has pulled their controversial Super Bowl commercial that made light of the battle Tibetan people face.
We would never have run these ads if we thought they trivialized the causes — even if we didn’t take them as seriously as we do, what type of company would go out of their way to be so antagonistic?” Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said in a statement.
“We took this approach knowing that, if anything, they would bring more funding and support to the highlighted causes. … The last thing we wanted was to offend our customers — it’s bad business and it’s not where our hearts are.”
Groupon: Good intentions, bad message
Groupon — known for their edgy and comical ad copy — really did intend to bring attention to social causes like Tibet in a light-hearted way. Online postings of the commercial on Groupon’s website included links to donate to charities that benefit Tibetans, rain forests and endangered animals.
Instead, consumers viewed the ads as insensitive and voiced their opposition via Facebook and Twitter.
Groupon: Other ads staying
The Tibetan Super Bowl commercial featuring Timothy Hutton will no longer air, the company said. However, the other two Groupon commercials featuring Elizabeth Hurley and Cuba Gooding Jr. will remain. The Groupon website even shows a forthcoming commercial starring Sheryl Crow that’s along the same lines.
Will the public outcry against Groupon hurt the company in the long run? It’s hard to say, but we’re betting it won’t. Consumers love deals – and memories are short.