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Groupon Reportedly Axes Porn-Based Deals

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Groupon Reportedly Axes Porn-Based Deals
[ Business]

According to a group of anti-porn activists, Groupon has stopped doing business with companies that “promote pornography,” although it’s unclear exactly what qualifies as promoting pornography.

One thing that definitely qualifies is a deal that the company offered back in April involving a giant castle that currently serves as a porn studio for the website Kink.com. Kink.com specializes in certain types of porn including bondage films. The deal also included the chance to see a live shooting of one of the films. As you would expect, the deal was limited to those aged 18 and older.

This was the daily deal that began the controversy, spearheaded by the group Morality in Media. MiM calls itself the “leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law.”

A few weeks later, Groupon offered a deal called “Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp” that included a trip to the Playboy mansion (and a concert featuring Steven Tyler, which MiM seemed unconcerned about). MiM had a problem with this tour as well, saying:

It is clear that Groupon’s motto is right in line with the pornographers they promote and defend. Playboy’s “it’s a man’s world” philosophy amounts to “use them, abuse them, and discard them.”

The group also called for a boycott, which they are now calling a success. According to MiM, a 2-month boycott that saw 20,000 Groupon members cancel their membership has caused Groupon to cease business with any purveyor of adult entertainment.

“The Groupon national boycott demonstrates that large numbers of people are willing to take action to challenge pornography wherever it rears its ugly head,” said MIM’s Executive Director, Dawn Hawkins.

“Mainstream companies should stay far away from the sexual exploitation and abuse that is part and parcel of the mission of pornography companies,” said Patrick A. Trueman, MIM’s president. “Groupon offered deals not only for Kink but for an event at Playboy, the world’s top sexual exploiter,” he added.

MiM says that they found out about the change in policy via confidential sources and that Groupon management has yet to confirm it. I contacted Groupon and received this statement from spokeswomen Julie Mossler:

We continue to test different types of deals in markets around the country, and run categories that represent the interests of each local customer base. While we aren’t currently accepting new adult merchants, guidelines for what types of businesses we do and do not run are constantly reevaluated on a local level.

So it would appear that Groupon has stopped dealing with adult merchants. Whether or not that is a permanent policy remains to be seen, however.

Groupon Reportedly Axes Porn-Based Deals
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