Incessant coupon-offering behemoth Groupon made a jokey Super Bowl ad about Tibet that didn't go over well with... well, anyone. (Yes, even though it was for charity, okay.) After a week of vague public anger about this relatively unimportant topic, the company is finally pulling the ads, reasoning—correctly—that the drama is not accomplishing the ostensible purpose of the ads, which is to help Groupon become a mighty, unavoidable middleman in the buying and selling of goods in America.
For Groupon, this isn't the first chink in their quirky, feel-good armor. The company's size makes it a large employer of young writers, many of whom dream of somehow using the job as an entryway into a journalism career. But the gigs aren't especially well-paid, or journalistic; and worse, one Chicago writer recently pointed out that the company was asking prospective employees to agree not to work for any Groupon competitors for two years—just to have the chance to apply for a job.
So we must wonder: is Groupon a corporate monster, on the inside? If you've ever worked for Groupon, or have any inside stories to share about the company's culture, email me. Anonymity guaranteed.