Groupon Decides to Pull Controversial Ads

Online coupon site Groupon Inc. says it is pulling its controversial ads less than a week after they first aired during the Super Bowl.

In one of the spots, Timothy Hutton says “the people in Tibet are in trouble, their culture is in jeopardy,” as pictures of Tibet are shown on the screen. The punchline? It turns out he’s talking about a fish curry deal groupon.com offered.

The ad sparked widespread negative reaction on Facebook and Twitter.

“We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did — it’s the last thing we wanted,” co-founder Andrew Mason said in a posting on the company’s site.

Mason said in the Thursday posting that the ads will be replaced with “something less polarizing.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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