Making Fun of Tibet to Sell Fish Curry During the Superbowl (VIDEO) [UPDATE]

This year’s Superbowl ads were generally as uninspired as the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime performance. But the uber-popular discount site Groupon may have set a new low.

One of their ads featured Timothy Hutton explaining that “The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy…but they still whip up an amazing fish curry!” (Which you can buy at a discount though Groupon.)

In case you missed it, the ad is available below.

So far it is rated inappropriate by 40+% of Huffington Post readers, and rated near the bottom in the USA today admeter results.

They also did an Elizabeth Hurley segment that linked Brazilian deforestation to Brazilian waxing treatments. For an encore, maybe they can also whip up some ads making fun of Haitian refugees.

As they explained in their company blog, they were trying to be funny. But in my opinion, they are totally clueless.

What do you think of this campaign?

Sign the petition asking the ad agency to apologize for their ad.


Groupon CEO Andrew Mason responded with what the Wall Street Journal called a “Defensive Non-Apology Apology Letter”, and they will be reworking the ads  to “draw more attention to the philanthropic causes they were intended to support.”

He might have been more credible if he did not also say, “Ads are traditionally about shameless self promotion, and we’ve always strived to have a more honest and respectful conversation with our customers.”

Good luck with that.


CC via Flickr Some rights reserved by moniqca


Myraida D.
Myraida Diaz6 years ago

Not everything in life is money.If we have to use others to make ourselves notice, something is very wrong. More on if the other is in lower economical position,is being opressed,are a minority, practice other religion,is of different race , has a physical disvantage etc..
Nothing to laugh about.

Ryan M.
Ryan M.6 years ago

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see Groupon making fun of Tibet. Albeit they did use the plight of a nation to capture the attention of the viewers, but how is this really any different than the majority of advertising world wide?

At least Tibet's struggle was mentioned in front of millions of viewers that might otherwise never have heard a word. The other positive is all this discussion on the topic- more awareness for Tibet. Definitely a higher degree of conscience than the BP adds.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p6 years ago

not very appropriate.

Tonya P.
Tonya P6 years ago

it deflects the seriousness of the situation. while i am all for continued light on tibet's occupation, I am moraly opposed to it being trivialized in the name of the holy dollar. 50 years is to long...I wish companies would show support of the situation sans the jokes and tounge in cheek attitude.

Joshua S.
Joshua S6 years ago

can we please stop taking ourselves so seriously. this was funny and attention-grabbing. my fiancee and i were caught way off guard. if nothing else - and there could be a lot more depending on what groupon does with this - there is debate and news about an issue most people (who watch the super bowl - and i watched even though the g-men weren't in it) have never heard of. come on people - got a better solution to get people's attention?

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman6 years ago

I thought this ad was innovative, majestic and very cool!!!! :-)

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran6 years ago

very stupid ad.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

While I see the humor, it IS distastful. Will groupon donate some funds to help Tibet? If not, that was totally greedy to try to get more money in the name of suffering.

Paula H.
Past Member 6 years ago

Just terrible Totally inappropriate.

Ed A.
Ed A.6 years ago

Funny as hell!