Groupon's Controversial TV Commercials


"I think that it's great that they were helping raise awareness for Greenpeace and drive donations." She says that if buildOn's arrangement with Groupon works the way she hopes, buildOn stands to get up to $400,000. That's a lot, she says, given that the charity's annual budget is only $7 million.

"It will fund 12 schools in Mali and Nepal and will educate over 3,000 students," she says

Asked by ABC News for comment, the Tibet Fund said it wasn't yet ready to make a statement in reaction to the Groupon ads.

A further irony: Groupon didn't get into the Super Bowl's advertising scrimmage until the last minute. As recently as a month ago, the company had been told all spots had been sold and they were out of luck. They intended to run only pre- or post-game ads.

Then, at the last minute, another advertiser dropped out and Groupon stepped in. Chief Operating Officer Rob Solomon told Advertising Age that Groupon, "after two years in business earning 50 million subscribers to date" felt it was time to use TV to reach an "even broader audience."

Groupon rival Living Social also aired a spot during the game--one that showed an old burly guy beautifying himself with goods and services provided through Living Social deals. It's not known how many outraged old burly guys were affronted.

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