As our perceptions of the world change dramatically on a daily basis here in Syracuse due to new information and opportunities offered on the Internet Buddhists here are sensitive to online criticisms. And so there has been a general consensus among Buddhists here in Syracuse that Groupon, http://www.groupon.com, is a firm of interest due to the firms pulling of advertisements which made light of the situation in Tibet.
The Tibet Sun has reported “Groupon pulls Tibet, whales, rainforest ads”, http://bit.ly/hSvb1B. The popular Internet bargain coupon firm Groupon is pulling a series of Super Bowl advertisements that critics said made light of the plight of Tibet, whales and the Amazon rainforest. Andrew Mason, chief executive of Groupon, announced the decision to no longer run the controversial television commercials in a recent blog. Mason said “Five days have passed since the Super Bowl, and one thing is clear — our ads offended a lot of people. We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did — it’s the last thing we wanted. We’ve listened to your feedback, and since we don’t see the point in continuing to anger people, we’re pulling the ads.”
A Tibet ad which was controversial opened with mountain scenes set to a melancholy flute and the words, “The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their culture is in jeopardy.” Then Actor Timothy Hutton said, “But they still whip up an amazing fish curry,” and the ad explained how he used Groupon for a discount at a Tibetan restaurant in Chicago. Groupon also used this type of approach in two other ads which ran before and after the game. In one of these ads actor Cuba Gooding Jr somberly described the need to save whales from extinction but then said it’s “more fun” to go on a whale watching cruise using the deal he got with Groupon. And in another controversial ad actress Elizabeth Hurley talked about the threat to the Amazon rainforest. She then went on to rave about the “Brazilian wax” deal she got at Groupon, saying “not all deforestation is bad.”
Mason has commented the company will run “less polarizing” ads in the future. He has also said “We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn’t come through. I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads. While we’ve always been a little quirky, we certainly aren’t trying to be the kind of company that builds its brand on creating controversy.”
It is good to hear here in Syracuse that Groupon with its wide appeal is a friend of the Tibet cause and other important causes. Mason has also said Groupon is matching donations to charities including Greenpeace and the Tibet Fund and the campaign is expected to net $500,000.
Mandel News Service: http://www.mandelnews.com