The company Groupon use to be known for giving great deals and coupons for things across your local metropolis. Today, Groupon is known for their horrible Super Bowl Ads that were meant to mock themselves but instead, offended a lot of people.
Recently, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason threw the ad agency he used, called CP&B, under the bus saying that they relied on them “to be edgy, informative and entertaining, and we turned off the part of our brain where we should have made our own decisions. We learned that you can't rely on anyone else to control and maintain your own brand." This statement came out publicly right after CP&B was dropped by one of their biggest clients, Burger King. This is clearly a big PR no-no.
Mr. Mason, I feel, is digging a bigger hole for himself each time he speaks. At first, he backed Groupons decision to allow the CP&B designed ads to run but then quickly turned on the ad agency once his company went under the heat lamp. On top of this, Groupon is making it seem that they fired CP&B, although the contracts tell a different story. Supposedly, CP&Bs contract was up in February and seem to only have been used for the Super Bowl.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that what Mr. Mason did was wrong. Although the ads were distasteful and obviously designed by the ad agency, Mr. Mason gave them full permission to be used. Groupon wanted to take a gamble and then couldn’t handle the pressure once it failed.
In a PR world, Groupon shouldn’t have ever dissed CP&B the way they did and instead, should have just admitted that they were wrong and be done with it.
I was impressed with CP&B’s CEO Andrew Keller statement about the whole situation. He said; “We signed on with Groupon on a project basis and produced the work that we agreed upon. They are incredibly smart marketers, [we] felt privileged to work with them and look forward to their continued success."
This statement was classy, honest, and didn’t take away from what they did, right or wrong. If Mr. Mason would have just been honest with the public that they made a mistake and that they were happy that CP&B did the work they asked but were looking for a new ad agency, I think everything would be better.