People are still buzzing about Groupon’s controversial Super Bowl ad about Tibet. And the company is getting defensive about it.
Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said in a blog post following the game the ad had been misconstrued, and that Groupon was trying to bring attention to the erosion of Tibetan culture that it seemed to mock in the commercial.
The commercial shows actor Timothy Hutton telling viewers, “the people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy. But they still whip up an amazing fish curry.” Hutton then says that he’s at a restaurant in Chicago enjoying Tibetan food thanks to a Groupon deal.
“Many objected to the ad, saying it was offensive and misguided. Groupon has similar ads running featuring Cuba Gooding, Jr. talking about whales, and Elizabeth Hurley talking about Brazil.
“In his post, Mason said that Groupon was raising money for all of the issues mentioned in the commercials, and he directed people to a site where they could donate to different organizations, such as Greenpeace and the Tibet Fund.
“We take the causes we highlighted extremely seriously - that’s why we created this campaign in partnership with many hallmark community organizations, for whom we’re raising money at SaveTheMoney.org,” Mason said.
What are your thoughts? Is the ad offensive or funny?