A little while ago, some people made something that they thought was funny. Some people who saw it thought it was funny, but other people thought it was not funny and/or outright offensive and hurtful. They complained.

Here’s the cool part: the people who made the offensive thing actually, sincerely apologized and took down the offensive thing. Not where you thought I was going with this, huh?

George Mason, the founder of Groupon, said this about a recent series of ads that critics said “made fun” of serious issues including deforestation, declining whale populations, and China’s oppresion of Tibet:

We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did – it’s the last thing we wanted. We’ve listened to your feedback, and since we don’t see the point in continuing to anger people, we’re pulling the ads. … We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn’t come through. I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads.

I personally think the ads are hilarious and they definitely inspired me to donate, but that’s because I already have an awareness of these issues and understand how important they are. I completely understand how people affected by them or working to promote them could see the ads as minimizing or mocking, and I’m impressed with Groupon’s response. I’m already a Groupon subscriber, so now I’m going to go use my $40 for $20 Groupon at Bath & BodyWorks online. One can never have too much Shea Cashmere hand cream.

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