Shame on GoDaddy. How did this commercial, intended for the Super Bowl ever get made? First, a cute as can be Golden Retriever puppy is tossed unceremoniously from a pick up truck (it's illegal in many states for dogs to be placed in the bed of pick up trucks). The poor puppy is apparently ok, but has to evade traffic and tolerate bad weather, finally sauntering in the barn he calls home. As he sees the owner, the pup's pace picks up, tail wags, as the presumably joyous owner, happy to see Buddy, turns out only happy because she just sold him on a GoDaddy website that she created. And off Buddy goes in a van, probably filled with other puppies. Commercial vans do not pick up puppies sold via legitimate breeders. Is this a puppy mill?
This is an obvious endorsement of selling puppies randomly online, which at this moment is an all too common practice of puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders. Unless perspective buyers have met the puppy and seen the facility, this is never the way to buy a puppy.
After a tirade of complaints, the spot has been pulled from the Super Bowl, and even online. In fact, the GoDaddy social media folks have frantically gone to a wide array of sites and have successfully wiped the commercial wherever they could, including YouTube. (A portion of the spot seen below)
The spot was supposed to be a parody with an edge of last year's winning Budweiser commercial with the Dalmatian and the Clydesdale. Instead, this the most insensitive commercial I've ever seen. I waited a while to post because I needed to confirm this was a real spot intended for air.
GoDaddy CEO and Board Director Blake Irving's offered a statement "We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past two years, advancing the GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for. At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause. However, we underestimated the emotional response."
But did Irving and GoDaddy really get it? GoDaddy acted appropriately defensively, protecting themselves the best they could. But they've not proactively simply said, "We're sorry."
I am sure GoDaddy didn't intend to demonstrate support for puppy mills and horrible breeders, but that is what they did. A real proactive move would be to demonstrate best intentions, such as making a donation to a non profit with a mission to eradicate puppy mills, such as the Puppy Mill Project.
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