Insensitive Groupon Tibet Super Bowl Ad

Posted: February 7, 2011 in General Stupidity, political correctness, Television
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As a Steeler fan I was very interested in the game, but heh, who doesn’t like a good Super Bowl ad?  There were a number of good commercials, I really dug the little kid Star Wars VW add.  There were several other ads that I really liked, and I was really surprised at how few Budweiser ads there were, although it was basically a Bud sponsored Super Bowl.  However, there was one ad I really didn’t like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOwJOcp-Mxk&feature=youtu.be

There are several reasons I really didn’t like this commercial from Groupon, first it’s really crass.  I mean has the United States become so numb to the rest of the world’s issues that we’ll make fun of a country and a people who were taken over by force 60 years ago to advertise a product?  And sure, this is probably just someone at the company and ad agency making a really stupid decision.  I doubt they meant to show a complete disregard for the suffering of the Tibetan people.  Having been in Tibet 5 years ago and having made friends with some of the people and also having seen up close the life they live and the issues they face, I guess this hits me a bit harder than most.

A second troubling issue with this commercial is how much we disrespect the Buddhist Religion.  Using the Portola Palace, the exiled home of the Dalai Lama, in a commercial and then making fun of the suffering of his people is an insult to Tibetan Buddhism.  Imagine slapping the Vatican in a Pizza Hut commercial and remarking hey the pontiff hates gays but makes a hell of a pizza!  I double Americans, especially Catholics, would be all that thrilled with the ad.

However, having read many of the writings of his holiness the Dalai Lama, I have a feeling I know what he will say.  More than likely he will remark on the inappropriateness of the ad, and then forgive them for being insensitive, that may be what makes it all that much worse.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like the ad and it’s getting more dislikes than likes on YouTube:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/06/groupon-tibet-super-bowl_n_819353.html

Now I’m not a great fan of the idea of political correctness, but we can have a little sensitivity can’t we?

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