Groupon responded last week to the suggestion it ‘spams’ customers by arguing its daily deals drive incremental business.
Maria Raga, Groupon travel vice-president, said the daily-deals site sends “one and sometimes two” emails a day to subscribers.
Speaking at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast at Google’s London headquarters, Raga said it was “hard to answer no” to the question of whether this amounted to spamming.
But she argued Groupon put relevant deals in front of people who would otherwise not have looked for them.
“Part of what makes Groupon a very effective channel is we drive incremental sales,” she said.
As well as its regular deals alert, Groupon has a Getaways brand offering UK trips, city breaks and beach holidays for up to 70% off.
“We craft these offers to make them exactly what our subscriber base wants, but they are not necessarily offers they are already thinking about,” said Raga.
Major travel brands involved in the panel discussion, including British Aways and InterContinental Hotels Group, said Groupon was not for them.
But Mike Hoban, Thomas Cook’s new director of sales, marketing and e-commerce, said it was not use of deal sites that trashes brands but “fundamentally bad marketing”.
He said: “You are not a helpless victim if you allow someone else to trash your brand. Let the consumer decide which channel to book through.”