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Nice Deal! Groupon CEO Rolls Ad Agency Under the Bus

Remember the dustup that Groupon created wit their Super Bowl ads? Most people felt they were offensive while others saw the as being brilliant. In the end, Groupon decided to cave to the majority (in other words, those who pay Groupon’s bills), remove the ads and apologize for their lapse in judgment.

Andrew Mason, Groupon’s CEO, isn’t about to let the world think that the while thing was entirely their fault. In fact, he appears quite happy to paint Groupon’s ad agency, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) as the culprit while acting as if Groupon was just too trusting rather than complicit in the ads.

AdAge reports

After defending controversial Super Bowl ads created with CP&B, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason is now blaming CP&B and himself for trusting it as an ad partner.

Rumor Mill Spits Out Possible $25 Billion Valuation for Groupon

Based on claims that its subscriber base has doubled over the past three months and a push into 100’s of new cities there are rumblings that Groupon’s eventual IPO could peg the service at a $25 billion valuation.

Bloomberg reports

Groupon Inc. has held talks with banks about an initial public offering that would value the online-coupon company at as much as $25 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

The two-year-old startup’s IPO may happen this year and is unlikely to assign Groupon a valuation of less than $15 billion, according to the people, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its March 21 edition. They asked not to be identified because the talks were private.

Will New Tax Laws End Amazon’s Affiliate Program?

On Tax Day (ironically, or maybe intentionally), Amazon will sever all ties with affiliates in the great state of Illinois, including (also ironically) film critic Roger Ebert.

Back in January, Ebert took some flack from Twitter followers who didn’t think it was right that he Tweet Amazon links. The critic explained in an interview with ClickZ that the small amount of income he made from the links went to keeping his website free for all to read and I agreed. A few ads and a few clicks is a small price to pay in order to keep reading articles such as his half-star review of Battle: Los Angeles. Now, we find the fight was for naught, thanks to a new law signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

Groupon: Master Salesmen But Not So Masterful With Delivery?

Groupon is certainly a phenomenon but with more and more reports of disgruntled users of the service feeling they have been ‘oversold’ is the service really all its valuation has it cracked up to be?

Fast Company is reporting of a bit of a dust up between a well-known Silcon Valley entrepreneur and Groupon during a SXSW panel.

Sunday’s Groupon panel on theFast Company and PepsiCo stage took an unexpected turn when Travis Kalanick, a longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur who runs online car service Uber, spoke frankly about his negative experiences as a client of Groupon–and several Groupon staffers in the audience took issue with the story he told.

Coming Soon: Groupon Buttons on the Cash Register

Using your Groupon coupon for 50% off today? No problem, sir. I’ll just hit this button on the cash register and the machine will do the math for me.

Oh yes, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Groupon is in talks with the major cash register manufacturers to have Groupon buttons added to all their machines.

The article goes on to say that Groupon is testing a number of avenues that “will let merchants account more efficiently for Groupon transactions and returns.”

Returns? Didn’t know you could do that? I’d like to return this tan, please. It’s a bit too orange for my liking. . .

Groupon is big, but is it that big that they need their own button? Says Bloomberg,

Bing and Get A Deal

If you look at the news in the Internet marketing world over the past 24-48 hours you can start to see why sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are going to need to work to stay ahead of a growing mob of daily deal offers.

Heavyweights like the New York Times have joined the group and yesterday yet another large company put its hat in the ring. That company is Microsoft and it has partnered with The Dealmap to power this offering. From one of yesterday’s press release:

What’s The Future Hold For the Daily Deal Space?

I guess today is the Daily Deal day here at Marketing Pilgrim since we have already told you about the New York Times foray into the deal a day space.

It just so happens that there has been a report released by BIA/Kelsey looking at the future of the daily deal space. What is intriguing about this report is how the research is divided into a 3 sections. Below is a chart about the revenue prospects for the daily deal industry through 2015. Notice that there is a low-end call, a high-end call and a most likely call (which looks to basically split the difference).

Right now, Groupon has the lion’s share of this total revenue while Amazon funded LivingSocial is trying to chip away at that. The rest of the deal space, according to BIA/Kelsey, has about 200 players currently.