Groupon’s Commercial Featuring Tibet Attracts Flak From Netizens In China

February 7th, 2011 - 8:18 pm ICT by GD  

By Gina Gomez
she1Feb 7, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The United States based company Groupon which provides discounts to online group buyers, has attracted the ire of many viewers after it aired an advertisement during last night’s Super Bowl game featuring Tibetans and a Himalayan restaurant based in Chicago. The commercial which was shown during breaks of the Super Bowl broadcast, has seized immense attention on the web as some of the netizens in China took to Twitter and other social-networking sites to express their disagreement with the advertisement which hints at the political turmoil in Tibet.

In the commercial that has sparked a controversy, actor Timothy Hutton is featured at a Chicago-based Himalayan Restaurant where he says, “The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy,” supposedly pointing out to China’s refusal to grant autonomy to the state. However, then Timothy Hutton jokingly adds that despite the crisis, the Himalayan state is able to ‘whip up a great fish curry’ and goes on to talk about the discount that he and other Groupon users received at a restaurant in Chicago.

The Groupon commercial featuring Timothy Hutton attracted the flak of internet users in China who slammed the advertisement to its reference to the political scenario in Tibet while many netizens have described the ad as ‘tasteless’ which belittles the suffering of the Tibetan people. Following the controversy, officials of the internet voucher company released a statement in a bid to explain its stand about airing the controversial commercial. The furore regarding the commercial comes on the heels of attempts by Groupon to expand its services in China.

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