Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Groupon will stop running the ads that it ran during the Super Bowl — which inadvertently offended a bunch of people — and will run something “less polarising” instead, CEO Andrew Mason wrote today on the company’s blog.”We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn’t come through,” he says. “I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads.”
Both Mason and the agency that made the ads — Crispin Porter + Bogusky — are known for being wacky and irreverent. But these ads apparently struck the wrong nerve, so it makes sense for Groupon to stop running them.
Meanwhile, Mason says Groupon expects to net over $500,000 for charity. So at least something good came out of it.
Here’s Mason’s post:
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 (a few may run again tomorrow – pulling ads immediately is sometimes impossible). We will run something less polarising instead. 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.
To the charities (for which we expect to net over $500,000) and others that have spoken out on our behalf, we appreciate your support.
To those who were offended, I feel terrible that we made you feel bad. 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 – we think the quality of our product is a much stronger message.