Groupon decided to pull its series of Super Bowl commercials which garnered much controversy after they aired.
The commercial in question aired during the Super Bowl and showed images of Tibet where actor Timothy Hutton read, The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy. The scene then cuts to Hutton inside a restaurant being served food. He then says, But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought at [groupon.com] we're each getting 30 dollars' worth of Tibetan food for just 15 dollars at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.
Groupon said We hate that we offended people, and we're very sorry that we did. We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn't come through, TMZ reports.
The advertisement angered many Americans who found it distasteful and disrespectful of human rights violations in Tibet. Criticism of the ad poured through Twitter and Facebook. Groupon said that they only thing they were poking fun of was the company itself.
We would never have run these ads if we thought they trivialized the causes - even if we didn't take them as seriously as we do, what type of company would go out of their way to be so antagonistic? Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason wrote on the company blog.
In the blog, Mason also attacked other ads that aired during the Super Bowl saying, When we think about commercials that offend us, we think of those that glorify antisocial behavior - like the scores of Super Bowl ads that are built around the crass objectification of women.
Watch the advertisement below.