Blog Entry

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:10 pm
Pawngo made it rain Butterfingers. (
By Will Brinson

Earlier on Wednesday, we brought you the story of Pawngo, an online pawn shop company that decided to have a little fun with Boston-area sports fans by dumping some Butterfingers addressed to Wes Welker in the middle of the city. This was designed to make fun of "The Drop" during the Super Bowl.

As you might expect, Patriots fans were just thrilled to be mocked less than 36 hours after the Super Bowl. Wait, what's that? Oh right. Sorry, they got really, really angry about the whole thing. So much so that Pawngo CEO Todd Hills wrote an apology.

"As a die-hard sports fan, I would like to sincerely apologize for a misguided and misdirected stunt that we did yesterday in Boston," Hillis wrote Wednesday. "In delivering a pile of Butterfinger bars to Copley Square in Boston, and a sign referencing Wes Welker, we were making a lighthearted gesture following Sunday’s hard fought game.   We thought that Boston fans would get a laugh out of it.  But,  for many great Boston sports fans, it was taken offensively.  Please accept my most sincere apologies. 

"We got caught up in the moment, reacting to a suggestion that we thought would be funny, but we were wrong, and on behalf of everyone involved with Pawngo, I apologize."

Hills effort is noble, but he quite clearly has no idea about the Boston sports fan demographic. A written apology isn't going to satiate their bloodlust.

Well, at least not before a bunch of them became aware that Groupon, the massive online-coupon company, and Pawngo share investors. Such a realization resulted in a little bit of anger directed at Boston Groupon on Twitter, which resulted in a little bit of corporate speak apology from them:
Does Groupon own Pawngo? We can't tell. (

Butterfinger would also like you to know they had nothing to do with the stunt:

Butterfinger didn't lay a finger on this stunt. (

Does this mean that we can put the old "Any press is good press" saying to rest forever?

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Since: Feb 8, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 11:15 pm

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

<sigh> You do realize that the supposed taping of a walkthorugh was just a rumor started by a disgruntled former employee who recanted his tale, right? Heck, even the misguided Boston Herald reporter who "broke" the story (John Tomase) was disgraced by his shoddy reporting and issued a public apology for his failure to do any fact-checking before filing his story. He was ultimately demoted.

So, yeah, let it go.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2012 3:37 pm

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

Pretty funny stuff.  Probably shouldn't have mentioned Welker, considering the drops of others in the game.  Would have been funnier if it had been signed "Gisele".

Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:36 pm

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

OK, so it was excessive and expensive, but come folks, it was playground funny! Why not try directing your boycotting time and energy to McD's and every other fast food joint for contirbuting to obesity in the name of profit? Why not boycott Walmart, Nike or other global consumer corporations for gutting country's economies (including the US) in the name of profit? And just to keep your energy up while you're engaged in meaningful social change efforts, why not chow down on a Butterfingers bar or two courtesy of the creative, "just kidding" folks at Pawngo?

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:44 pm

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

as a native new yorker & one who still resides in Manhattan......I'd like to apologize, NOT all New Yorkers found this amusing! - it was wrong, uncalled for and obnoxious!  Karma will deal with them!

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:25 pm

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

I'm not a Patriots fan.  Frankly, I still have resentment over their filming of the Rams practice/walk through prior to the Super Bowl 10 years ago.  That said, I would find it extremely funny if Boston fans were to in some way organize a boycott of this douche and his business, which actually had a measurable negative impact on sales.  Yes, that would be amusing.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:10 pm

Pawngo, Groupon facing big Butterfinger backlash

Hills' effort is NOT noble.....he wanted publicity and he got it.  I guarantee you that apology was drafted before they put the bars out.  He's not a sports fan....he's a horse's ass.  This shouldn't get any play.

Sports needs more Wes Welkers and fewer jackwagons trying to capitalize on someone else's misfortune.

I say this as a Giants fan.  Nobody was happier than me that Welker didn't catch that pass (notice I didn't say "dropped" was not a well thrown ball, no matter what Gisele says).  But he's a great player who was one of the main reasons why they were in the Super Bowl in the first place.  I hope the Patriots fans realize that and treat him right next year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or