In the history of major awards being given to the wrong recipient, we have a new entry that has cracked the top three. Secure in their places as #1 and #2 are the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize to Barack Obama and Reggie Bush getting the Heisman Trophy over Vince Young.
The new #3? The awarding of a Marketing Tea Party award to Groupon for turning down a $6 billion offer.
New information has come in that suggests that Groupon did not necessarily want to turn the offer down, but felt that regulatory issues would hold up the sale of the company. Wisely, Groupon directors tried to negotiate for a break-up fee, which Google, apparently, wasn’t willing to pay.
Sheepishly, we here at the Marketing Tea Party must admit that we wrongly issued the Bonehead Decision of the Year award to Groupon, and are hereby rescinding the offer with our apologies to the firm.
In its place, however, we have decided to create the Debauchery Award for the vilest display of immoral self-indulgence, depravity, profligacy, and licentiousness.
The winner of the 2010 award for Debauchery goes to….Google, for making Groupon a $6 billion offer in the first place.
Why is this a display of self-indulgence and depravity, you ask? Because first of all, there is no way in G*d’s creation that Groupon is worth $6 billion. But what makes this a depraved and profligate offer is that it’s a painful reminder to the rest of us that $6 billion to Google is like $6 to you or me. Pocket change.
Mind you, Google’s offer doesn’t qualify for the Bonehead Decision award. As a matter of fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s a brilliant move. In an attempt to recreate the Dot Com bubble of 10 years ago, Google is leveraging its war chest to make an absolutely ridiculous offer to a firm hardly worthy of it. Can you say Pets.com sock puppet?
By bidding up the prices of fledgling companies with questionable business models, Google hopes to start a bidding war that will tax the coffers of its less-well-endowed competitors. A truly brilliant strategy, if we say so ourselves.