Groupon UK MD says the company will stay top dog

Groupon denies that plans for a Google “daily deals” service will eventually see the company lose its position as market leader.


Last week, Google confirmed it was testing Offers, a group buying site that will see the search giant going head to head with existing group buying sites such as Groupon, Living Social and Groupola, by offering daily discount deals on services and products from local businesses.

Christopher Muhr, Groupon UK managing director, says Groupon has a head start in forming contacts amongst local businesses. The two-year-old company, reported to be the fastest-growing in the world, says it is adding 150 new employees a month to its Chicago headquarters alone.

Muhr does admit that both Google Offers and the Facebook Deals service, launched in the US in November, last year present a competitive threat to the business, and says it would be “foolish” not to take them seriously.

“Market power helps, because Google has a huge email inventory it could tap, Facebook has a great platform to activate people, but the source of power in that space is the merchant, the partner,” says Muhr.

He predicts that Facebook and Google are likely to target larger brands, as opposed to the local links that Groupon has formed through its rapidly expanding sales force.

Speaking at briefing in London today (27 January), Joanna Shields, vice president and managing director of Facebook EMEA, says “our products are always open to anyone who wants to participate”, though a list of US launch partners for Facebook Deals consisted mainly of large and multinational companies.

Facebook vice president of partnerships and platform marketing, Dan Rose, says new Facebook launches such as Deals will always have a “social design”. The company thinks about products “from the perspective of people and their friends first and foremost, and whatever the application is as secondary to that”.

Facebook has also announced the launch of its own group-buying feature, “Buy with Friends”, although it will initially be restricted to the purchase of Facebook credits used in transactions for virtual goods, such as those in social games.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here