CHICAGO - At the annual Groupon shareholder meeting Tuesday in Chicago, The National Center for Public Policy Research requested and received a pledge from Groupon management that it will be "content neutral" in regard to the deals it offers to Groupon members.
The National Center's Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof attended the meeting to request the content neutrality pledge after PETA announced it will attend Groupon's 2015 shareholder meeting to ask Groupon to adopt a content bias policy that would prohibit circuses from offering deals to Groupon members.
"Groupon's executive team sent a loud and clear message to activist organizations trying to dictate what deals the company offers - your opinion is not welcome. Multiple company leaders told me that the company offers deals and services that their customers want, and that is what drives its business," said Danhof, who also serves as the National Center's general counsel. "I told them to ignore the whims of the political class in light of PETA's pressuring the company to cancel certain zoo and circus deals. After today's meeting, I am confident that Groupon will not bow to PETA's will, nor to the will of the next activist organization that comes to dictate what products Groupon offers."
"After the meeting, Groupon's Head of Communications Paul Taaffe approached me to reiterate that the company does not make any business decisions based on politics. He explained that Groupon reacts to customer demand and interest, noting that when the customer wants something, Groupon provides it. When they don't show an interest, Groupon doesn't offer the product. That very simple message is a victory for Groupon and the free market, and a very clear defeat for PETA and its ilk."
"It seems that hardly a week goes by without a news story about left-wing organizations pressuring businesses to cave in and endorse some aspect of the left-wing agenda," said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center. "Unfortunately for PETA, it did not buy shares soon enough to attend this year's meeting, but we did. So we went first. We asked Groupon to be content-neutral; that is, equally fair to every point of view and every legal product. We are pleased to say that Groupon not only said 'yes,' but did so emphatically. We congratulate Groupon's management."