The online coupon site Groupon is pulling its ads from Donald Trump’s show “The Apprentice” after hearing complaints from customers over Groupon’s “sponsorship” of the show.
According to a company blog post, the Groupon received a lot of comments about an online petition advocating for the company to pull its sponsorship from the show, including one from the Center for American Progress blog, Think Progress.
The thing is, Groupon never sponsored the show in the first place.
The company advertises with NBC as a whole. So, ads for its site did occasionally pop up on “The Apprentice” show page, but they weren’t intended to be directly tied to the show, Groupon said Thursday on its blog:
Groupon has never been a sponsor of The Apprentice on TV or on the web. We invest heavily in online advertising through networks that place ads on a rolling basis, meaning that we know one will appear on NBC.com but not specifically which page. We know that some advertising appeared on the Apprentice home page a few weeks ago.
Trump, of course, has been in the news lately for questioning President Obama’s natural-born citizenship and demanding to see his Hawaiian birth certificate. The outspoken celebrity real estate and hotel magnate is also potentially mulling a run for the office himself.
Groupon chalked the outcry up to the viral nature of the Internet, but the company said it will make sure its ads don’t appear on “The Apprentice.”
...this isn’t a political statement, it’s avoiding intentionally upsetting a segment of our customers.
The coupon site may be particularly sensitive to how customers view its advertising after suffering a major public relations nightmare for its Super Bowl ads that mimicked commercials for charities. The company ended that ad campaign four days after the big game.