The New York Times reports that the backlash has been such that the company is officially axing its biggest campaign to date.
“We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did,” Groupon CEO
Andrew Mason writes in his blog. “It’s the last thing we wanted.”
The ads, featuring Timothy Hutton, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Elizabeth Hurley, were edited Feb. 8 with subtitles and narration pointing out ways to help the actual causes they were mocking, but it was too late.
As Mason also points out: “If an ad requires an explanation, that means it didn’t work.”