Groupon is a company that offers discounts and specials to restaurants and different activities in cities all over the nation through the power of numbers. If 100 people use Groupon then it can give the discounts to customers.

During this past Superbowl, Groupon aired controversial commercials that were meant to be funny but were found by some as offensive. The commercials highlighted different social, economic and environmental problems with celebrity spokespersons but then endorsed GroupOn by downplaying the problem with a great coupon they offer. The company has received a lot of negative press since the ads ran.

What the company failed to mention was that part of the profits from the ads was going to the different problems it highlighted in its commercials. This could have combated the negativity that now surrounds the campaign. The fact that Groupon was being generous and giving to various causes in need would have stifled a lot of the bad press.

The public relations team for Groupon should have made sure that the ads said something about part of the profits going to the causes. It could have humanized the company. Since the Superbowl is the most watched television program in the US and the ads were run during the game, the  public relations practitioners had an opportune moment to engage all of their key publics. Had the ads been less offensive to some the company could have avoided the controversy. Groupon did use celebrities to endorse its services which would have gotten it attention regardless of the controversy.

Moving forward, Groupon should acknowledge the people who are upset with the ads and explain what it was thinking and what the point of the ads was supposed to be. Groupon should also express how it gave proceeds away.

What do you think Groupon should do to repair its image? Do you think the commercials are funny? Are they offensive?

Check out Groupopn’s commercial featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. about whales.