Monday, February 14, 2011


Chicago-based Groupon is the fastest growing company in the world. 

Groupon (a combination of "Group" and "Coupon") has succeeded by making coupons hip. Their business model is simple: email members a chance to buy one exclusive discount offer a day at a featured retailer or restaurant and split the revenue with the advertiser. It's win-win-win: members get deep discounts, advertisers pay nothing, and Groupon makes top dollar for their services. Advertiser make their money on add-ons and repeat business.

The smart brand has relied on social media and social networking for it's growth.

I get it. I'm a Groupon member.

Groupon is also know for a quirky persona and offf-beat sense of humor.

That quirkiness has got them into PR trouble with an ad campaign launched during last Sunday's Super Bowl.  Critics say the spot featuring actor Timothy Hutton  is insensitive to the oppression in Tibet.

So, after trying to make excuses for the spot, they've decided to pull the entire ad campaign. Quite a misstep for their first TV ads for a company that turned down a $6 billion buy-out offer from Google and may and launch an IPO in 2012.

So, what's that all mean to you?

Be careful not to offend customers it can sour your relationship.

Takeaway: Think twice before you speak -- or advertise.

No comments: