Groupon Pulls Tibet Super Bowl Ad

The company says it will opt of an ad that's less controversial.

By Jorge Rivas Feb 11, 2011

Groupon began defending its controversial ad that made light of the plight of Tibet immediately after it aired during the Super Bowl. But today, according to a blog post by CEO Andrew Mason, Groupon is pulling the ads.

Five days have passed since the Super Bowl, and one thing is clear – our ads offended a lot of people. 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.

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…

Groupon previously defended the ads by saying they were raising an estimated $500,000 for Tibet Fund, an organization that does work to preserve Tibetan culture.

But really that argument is silly if you consider the estimated cost of running a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl is $3,000,000. Not to mention the amount it costs to produce the commercial. Mason’s blog post noted that the company "will run something less polarizing instead." Hopefully that means a completely different commercial and not the same reworked Tibetan-themed ad.