Puppy mills & the Go Daddy Super Bowl ad

Puppy mills & the Go Daddy Super Bowl ad
Photo courtesy AL.com

Writers note: Shortly after this was posted, GoDaddy’s CEO announced that the ad would not air the ad. His twitter comment is below. Thank you for speaking out…you can make a difference.


It’s Super Bowl week and time for annual roll-out of new ads that are unofficially debuting before they air on the big game. It’s only Tuesday and I already have my epic fail of the year. The trophy for the worst ad needs to be given to Go Daddy’s Super Bowl ad that promotes online puppy sales.

I’ve never been a big fan of Go Daddy. I’ve felt their sexist TV ads to be blatantly offensive and I know far too many small businesses and non-profits that have had major issues with their services. However, this year’s Super Bowl ad sinks to a new level…one supporting the nepharious online sale of dogs and cats.

My phone started dinging mid-morning as friends began to email, text and Facebook me. Their complaint was about how Go Daddy’s attempt to go cute and possibly make fun of the popular Budweiser ad from last year promoted online puppy mill sales. If you’re new to this blog or have been living under a rock…online sales are most often associated with puppy mills.

Here’s the deal. In the U.S., there’s an estimated 10,000 puppy mills – the commercial breeding operations that pump out puppies under inhumane conditions. Most dogs in mills spend their entire life in cages where they eat, sleep, poop, breed, give birth and nurture their young. In this day and age of instant media and social media barrages…it’s beyond irresponsible for any company to launch an ad on a platform this large without doing their homework.

We all know that boobs sell…but the boobs that thought that this would sell need to get fired…yesterday. I can’t believe that not one person in the marketing department at Go Daddy. Or, that one person on the creative team at the Barton F Graff 9000 Agency didn’t make the connection between puppy mills and online pet sales. What were they thinking?

Here’s what their Chief Creative Officer Gerry Graf thinks of his agency’s work according to the Go Daddy Press release.

“Our strategic team and our partners at GoDaddy led us to very fertile creative territory,” Graf said. “We’ve created a highly entertaining spot that will let everyone know exactly how GoDaddy’s tools can help small businesses. ’Journey Home’ is provocative with purpose, which is another way of saying, this is anything but your standard inspirational commercial.”

A ‘highly entertaining spot’ – are they complete morons?

For those of us involved in animal rescue on a day-to-day basis…for those of us on the front line in the fight against puppy mills, this is beyond infuriating. With time left on the clock before the big game, there is plenty of time to take action. First of all, a Change.org petition has been started demanding that the ad be removed.

You can also reach out to Go Daddy. Email Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving at Blake.Irving@GoDaddy.com or Tweet him @Blacki. You can also reach out to their moronic PR department at PR@GoDaddy.com. You can reach out to the clueless ad execs at @bartonfgraf9000 and info@bartonmail.com.

You can reach out to CBS Sports here. There is also a page for the Super Bowl here.

The good news of this is that since the ad was released…the online backlash has been through the roof…but this has come after Go Daddy and the clueless minions at their ad agencies got tons of attention for an ad promoting online pet sales.

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Filed under: Pets, Puppy Mills

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    Raining Cats and Dogs

    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

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