Apparently after Burger King severed relationship with its ad agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky (CP&B) due to continually declining sales, Groupon found it a convenient time to point the finger at CP&B for their failed Super Bowl campaign.
Groupon has also since stopped working with the ad agency and has gone to some efforts to make up for what many saw as a major misstep. In last week’s feature article on Bloomberg Businessweek, Groupon’s CEO, Andrew Mason said that he had placed too much trust in CP&B “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.”
Wait a minute Andrew. We thought you like the ads. After all that’s pretty much the impression you gave in your initial blog post defending your reasoning for airing them, until of course you had to recant that when angry mobs began chasing you across the internet. Now to blame the ad agency for ads that you totally approved of is just sad.
In all fairness Mason did accept blame but has also led people to believe that Groupon had fired CP&B as its ad agency which according to AdvertisingAge is not the case.
That about-face and, more bitingly, the underlying assertion that it fired CP&B, is riling some execs at the MDC Partners’ crown jewel, which by some estimates accounts for more than one-third of the holding company’s revenue. For one thing, people familiar with the situation say the agency’s contract with Groupon was only through Feb. 28, and it’s disingenuous to say CP&B was dismissed. Groupon’s TV schedule has run its course and no further ads are planned, a Groupon spokeswoman said.
CB&P is said to be going through a difficult time with the loss of Burger King and trying to rearrange staff to avoid layoffs. It appears as though Groupon may be taking advantage of CP&B’s misfortune to make themselves shine or at least to remove a little tarnish.