Half-price Groupon deal for used advertising agency

I don’t like saying, “I told you so…” No, wait. I love saying, “I told you so.”

On this blog, the day after the Superbowl:

“Groupon’s Tibet ad was perhaps the most expensive ad that will ever appear on the Superbowl. Why? Because it could bring into question the validity of a near-religious belief some have that Groupon is more than smoke and mirrors — that they have created some mythical “third-way” of small business marketing. The company’s valuation is, in great degree, a figment of pre-IPO investor’s imaginations. But to continue its growth, the company depends on two audiences to succeed: 1. Small business advertisers; 2. Women who want good deals on day spas. Mocking the struggle an oppressed people have endured for 60 years to sell discount vouchers doesn’t play well with either group. I hope Groupon’s tactics, last night and today, are called out for what they are: crass and insulting and perhaps the worst abuse of investors’ money I’ve ever seen since, well, when did the last Pets.com ad run?”

Posted on AdAge.com yesterday:

“In a Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile last week, which noted Groupon has stopped working with (the advertising agency who created the ads, the CEO of Groupon) said he placed too much trust in the agency “to be edgy, informative and entertaining, and we turned off the part of our brain where we should have made our own decisions. We learned that you can’t rely on anyone else to control and maintain your own brand.”

Morale of this story: Don’t turn off the part of your brain that makes you think controversy for controversy’s sake is savvy marketing.