Rose French writes about religious and spiritual matters for the Star Tribune. Before arriving in the Twin Cities this fall, she covered religion for the Associated Press in Tennessee, where she wrote about the Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Gideons and other religious groups and issues.
E-mail Rose with your thoughts or questions.
Turns out Groupon’s controversial Super Bowl ads didn’t quite win over viewers, and the company has decided to pull them from the air.
Groupon CEO Andrew Mason apologized for the ads in a blog post Thursday. Many people were offended by the ad that aired during the Super Bowl, which featured actor Timothy Hutton talking about the plight of the Tibetan people, then glibly does an about-turn and says he could still save money on Tibetan restaurants because of Groupon.
In the two other ads, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. bemoans the world’s dwindling number of whales before talking up a discounted whale-watching cruise and actress Elizabeth Hurley bemoans endangered Amazon rainforests before promoting a deal on a Brazilian wax.
“Our ads offended a lot of people,” Mason wrote. “Tuesday I posted an explanation, but as many of you have pointed out, if an ad requires an explanation, that means it didn’t work.”
What do you think? Were the ads offensive?
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?
Church-going football fans in Milwaukee are facing a tough quandary this Superbowl weekend: God or football?
Some churches are trying to make it a little easier on them. So worshippers don’t have to choose between two devotions -- God and the Packers -- area churches are canceling their Sunday afternoon and evening services.
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee and St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Cedarburg are among those rescheduling for the Super Bowl, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
“The Sunday evening Mass is a bit of a luxury,” said Father Tom Eichenberger, pastor at St. Francis, which has five services over the weekend. He has no qualms about canceling one, he says, “when it falls on a legal holy day like Super Bowl Sunday.”
Others are holding to their Sunday schedules but incorporating their dual loyalties where possible. Several churches are collecting food and donations to fight hunger as part of the Souper Bowl of Caring.
At Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Menomonee Falls, which will host Greater Milwaukee Bishop Jeff Barrow Sunday morning, the church and congregants will be decked out in green - the liturgical color for the season of Epiphany.