Groupon Pulls Ads from 'The Apprentice' Website after Move Was Made to Boycott the Company

By Ed Silverstein May 02, 2011

Groupon has pulled its ads from “The Apprentice” website after a move was made to boycott the company. Critics, who are opposed to Donald Trump’s political stands, mistakenly thought Groupon was a sponsor of the site and named the company in a boycott announcement.

Groupon issued a recent statement to correct the confusion.

“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 but not specifically which page. We know that some advertising appeared on the Apprentice home page a few weeks ago,” Groupon said in a blog post.

Because of the public reaction, Groupon decided to not to put any additional ads on “The Apprentice” homepage. The company explains it wants to avoid “intentionally upsetting a segment of our customers,” according to the blog post.

The move to boycott Groupon apparently came from the site carrying a petition called “Don’t Support Donald Trump and Boycott the Sponsors of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice!” Groupon was mistakenly identified as sponsor of the television show, which features Trump.

The site stated that, “Since Mr. Trump is obviously supporting fringe elements of the American electorate and advocating for racism, xenophobia, and divisiveness in this country, the supporters of this petition feel strongly that the aforementioned companies should not advertise on Mr. Trump’s TV program.”

Trump is considering a run for the presidency in 2012. A Republican, he brought a lot of attention to the issue of whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Obama released the longer form of his birth certificate from Hawaii last week to put the growing questioning of his birth place to rest.

In a related matter, WebProNews notes that Groupon had an earlier controversy over its advertising. An ad about Tibet aired during the Super Bowl was considered offensive. At first, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason told The Wall Street Journal he didn’t consider the ad to be offensive, saying it was a “spoof” on the company and celebrity-endorsed public service announcements, according to TechZone360. But later the ad was removed.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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