What better way for a US company to entire the potentially lucrative Chinese market than by ticking off all sides on one of China's most sensitive political issues. If Internet buzz is any reliable gage, that appears to be what the group purchasing website Groupon during the Superbowl on Sunday, with a provocative ad mocking the plight of Tibetans, who critics say has suffered under harsh Chinese rule. Groupon's now much buzz-about ad, featuring actor Timothy Hutton, touches on disappearing Tibetan culture and proposes rallying instead to enjoy their fish curry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXGYK1eP_wo
Groupon, which has joined forces with Chinese Internet company Tencent and is hiring in China, says the ads poke fun ad celebrity hubris: http://www.groupon.com/blog/cities/groupon-super-bowl-ads/
Online reactions ranged from shock to disgust, with little laughter. Politics and poor humor aside, landlocked Tibet isn't known for serving fish.