Every so often, we here at the Spy like to check in with those outside of our little lair to get some fresh perspective on hot topics of discussion, so this time around, why not delve into the world of Groupon and the issue of group buying. While we usually ignore our daily deals, maybe just out of sheer apathy, Kristina Eastham doesn’t. Here, the communications coordinator at Digitaria, which was acquired by JWT North America just about a year ago, shares her ups and downs with group buying.

At Interactive Day San Diego earlier this month, the audience heard a sales representative from Groupon give a sales pitch disguised as a keynote to pitch the benefits of group buying. But Groupon and similar sites have been under a lot of fire lately.

“Tired of seeing small businesses get screwed,” Rocky Agrawal has recently guest-authored an “anti-Groupon” series of articles on TechCrunch. Simultaneously, merchants and past employees are speaking up, helping Agrawal kick Groupon while it’s down (Groupon filed for its IPO on June 2 and is currently in its quiet period).

When I first got involved with group buying as a consumer, I was swiftly smitten. I quickly signed up for emails from as many providers as I could find and let the deals start rolling in. But the initial excitement wore off almost just as quickly. At the time I was living in Orange County and, while I set my preferences (yes, I like “Salon services” like hair cuts) I received a ton of “junk” I wasn’t interested in (no, I don’t want Botox or spray tanning).


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