Unethical Superbowl ads?

 

The CEO of Groupon, Andrew Mason, was blown away by the how his new ad campaign was taken by viewers during the Superbowl this past weekend. The 30 second spot featuring actor, Timothy Hutton, started off with a somber tone addressing the hardships of the dying culture of Tibet. The tone suddenly changes as Timothy says, “but they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought on Groupon.com, we’re getting $30 worth of Tibetan food for just $15.”

As a naive consumer, I was shocked just like the rest of America.  It was not until after Groupon came out to defend their commercials that I understood their actions.  With further reading I found that Groupon is rooted in helping activists raise money for worthy causes…one of these causes being The Tibet Fund, as well as Greenpeace and The Rainforest Action Network (RAN).  

Groupon launched its donations page around 1pm on Sunday rallying for these 3 causes and promises to match each donation.  a Groupon spokesperson, “It has always been the foundation of the campaign. A  spokesperson for Groupon was quoted saying, “We would never have run the ads without these organizations’ support and a way for our subscribers to contribute to their causes.”

Here are the other two commercials aired during the superbowl…what do you think?  Ethical?

Cuba Gooding Jr. “Whale Watch”

Elizabeth Hurley “Rainforest”

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3 Responses

  1. I was really disappointed with Groupon. I felt like they were saying, “Yeah, these issue are important…but who cares! Buy something!” Groupon really took some low blows here.

    • I know and it’s such a shame they dropped the ball because Groupon’s competitor, Living Social did such a great job with its ad.

  2. I was disgusted by this commercial. It was so sad at first, and then they seemed to not care about the sad issue they just brought up. It was appalling and I hope they lose a lot of business

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