April 29, 2011, 12:14 PM — Groupon has fired the Apprentice website.
In a blog post on Thursday, Groupon employee "Julie M." (notice she doesn't include her full name; isn't that interesting?) writes that the company has been taking heat for its "sponsorship" of The Apprentice, the NBC show that provides a part-time job to full-time birther and pretend presidential candidate Donald Trump:
Someone online began a petition to boycott Groupon because they believed we were a sponsor of the Apprentice, a show that is in the middle of some political criticism at the moment.
Then, just like that, it was announced we were pulling our sponsorship and boycotting the Apprentice and NBC. Pulling a fake sponsorship that didn’t exist….
A fake sponsorship that didn't exist. Speaking of things that don't exist, this "Julie M." -- if that's her real name -- failed to include her birth certificate or college transcripts in her little blog post. Why is that?
Then "Julie M." goes on to explain:
Here’s the thing: 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.
Enough consumers have contacted us to warrant ensuring that we don’t place ads on the Apprentice homepage in the future. It’s the same reason we don’t run deals on guns or abortion…this isn’t a political statement, it’s avoiding intentionally upsetting a segment of our customers.
Apparently "Julie M." and her masters at the popular "deal of the day" website are more concerned with upsetting their customers in, oh, I don't know, Kenya, than they are in helping the U.S. economy recover from the recession caused by those nefarious Chinese!
It's Groupon's loss. Next season, when visitors to the Apprentice website are savoring details of the celebrity competition between that guy who had a walk-on part in the third episode of Season 2 in Seinfeld and the heckler who was vanquished by Pauly Shore one memorable night at The Comedy Store in 1991, well, they're not going to be reading about Groupon and its crappy deals, are they?
Oh, and "Julie M.," it's come to the attention of Mr. Trump's investigators that no one has ever seen Groupon CEO Andrew Mason and President Obama in the same room together. Care to explain?