Groupon vs. Trump: Site yanks ads from Apprentice website
How controversial has Donald Trump become now that he’s brought his attention-grabbing ways into (what’s become of) the nation’s political debate?
Well, for starters, he’s being mentioned by quasi corporate sponsors in the same breath as guns and abortion.
That’s what happened Thursday, when deal-a-day website Groupon told users that it will no longer allow its advertisements to appear on the web page of Trump’s NBC television show The Apprentice.
“It’s the same reason we don’t run deals on guns or abortion … this isn’t a political statement, it’s avoiding intentionally upsetting a segment of our customers,” the company said on its blog.
Groupon stressed that, contrary to Internet rumors, it was never an actual sponsor of the show or its website.
“We invest heavily in online advertising through networks that place ads on a rolling basis, meaning that we know one will appear on NBC.com but not specifically which page,” the company said.
AdWeek, however, notes that despite the statement, the company is still running a deal for one of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos.
Meanwhile, CNET points out that Groupon is no stranger to bad press:
[I]ts high-profile Super Bowl spot was the first in a campaign of TV ads that mocked calls for charitable donations, and after many people deemed the ads tasteless and insensitive, the company scrapped the campaign.
Here’s Groupon’s full statement:
You know when you hear some juicy gossip about Sarah dating Peter, and it spreads around the office, and suddenly Sarah’s secretly married to Peter who’s cheating on his taxes so that he can pay for magician school? That happened to us today.
Someone online began a petition to boycott Groupon because they believed we were a sponsor of the Apprentice, a show that is in the middle of some political criticism at the moment.
Then, just like that, it was announced we were pulling our sponsorship and boycotting the Apprentice and NBC. Pulling a fake sponsorship that didn’t exist….
Here’s the thing: Groupon has never been a sponsor of The Apprentice on TV or on the web. We invest heavily in online advertising through networks that place ads on a rolling basis, meaning that we know one will appear on NBC.com but not specifically which page. We know that some advertising appeared on the Apprentice home page a few weeks ago.
Enough consumers have contacted us to warrant ensuring that we don’t place ads on the Apprentice homepage in the future. It’s the same reason we don’t run deals on guns or abortion…this isn’t a political statement, it’s avoiding intentionally upsetting a segment of our customers.
Thanks for allowing us to clear this up. Maybe we can make this blog post go viral, too.
Check it out on The MasterTech Blog