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Super Bowl ad stirs up controversy over Tibet

Advertisements during the Super Bowl are known for their tastelesssense of humour. But one ad shown during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV mayhave gone too far.

Advertisements during the Super Bowl are known for their tasteless
sense of humour. But one ad shown during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV may
have gone too far.


In a spot for Groupon, the coupon website, Timothy Hutton narrates solemnly over images of mountains and
dancing children:


“The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very
culture is in jeopardy.” Then the joke is unveiled: “But they still
whip up an amazing fish curry,” says Hutton, now smiling and revealed
to be sitting in a Tibetan restaurant in Chicago. He got it at a
discount thanks to Groupon.


“I guess Groupon decided to do a funny
commercial aboutTibetbecause Darfur would be in bad taste?” tweeted
humour writer Andy Borowitz. “Dear@Groupon—over a million Tibetans have
been killed during Chinese occupation,” tweeted another. “Your ad
wasn't funny.”


Comments on the Groupon website were no less
forgiving.


“You guys screwed up. You owe the Tibetan people a public
apology for trivializing their position. I know I am not the only
person that will be boycotting Groupon from here on out,” read one of
259 comments. The company posted on its blog that is was all in good
fun.


“Since we grew out of a collective action and philanthropy site
(ThePoint.com) and ended up selling coupons, we loved the idea of
poking fun at ourselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause,”
wrote a spokesperson.


“We did a parody of a celebrity-narrated, public
service announcement-style commercial that you think is about some
noble cause.”


This year’s Super Bowl was watched by an estimated 100
million people.

 
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