Mocking Philanthropy

They always say ‘any press is good press.’  But is this true?  Especially when mocking philanthropy?

On Superbowl Sunday, the well-known daily Groupon coupon company decided to do such a thing when they released faux-philanthropic PSA (public service announcement) ads that favored saving money for yourself over helping some serious causes.

You can see the following Timoth Hutton’s Tibet ad and decide for yourself.  Clever? or poor taste?

However you decide, you should know that Groupon actually does branch out from a philanthropy site ( Criticism, though, is that a company worth 15 billion dollars is not really doing as much as it should.

Consumers may pick up on the edginess but will it be well or poorly received?  So far, mostly criticism exists.  It has left Groupon struggling to respond and explain their commercials to the masses.

In a most recent blog, Groupon responded by saying:

Since we grew out of a collective action and philanthropy site and ended up selling coupons, we loved the idea of poking fun at ourselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause…And if you’ve saved enough money for yourself and feel like saving something else, you can donate to mission-driven organizations that are doing great work for the causes featured in our PSA parodies. If you guys pony up, Groupon will contribute matching donations of up to $100,000 for three featured charities—Rainforest Action NetworkbuildOn, and the Tibet Fund—and Groupon credit of up to $100,000 for contributions made to Greenpeace.

In my opinion, Groupon would’ve been a lot better saying this at the end of the commercial, rather than at the end of the criticism.


-Lizette Romero

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