GoDaddy pulled its Super Bowl ad on Tuesday amid social media outrage. This time, the Internet domain name registrar created a commercial meant to mock the Budweiser puppy reunion series. But Buddy, the GoDaddy ad's puppy, ends his quest home only to be sold online. Puppy fans started calling the brand "inhumane" and supportive of puppy mills, among other adjectives.
It may just be coincidental that the brand that's come to be synonymous with sexist tech advertising decided to pull this controversial ad a few months after it filed for an initial public offering (IPO).
Or it may not.
In Tuesday's blog post titled "We're Listening, Message Received," GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving writes, "We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You'll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh."
Either way, GoDaddy is responding to tweets like this:
— Roxanne Hawn (@roxannehawn) January 28, 2015
In the meantime, Irving's post and @GoDaddy tweets are letting consumers know the golden retriever puppy not only lives with a longtime employee, but he's been the company's "Chief Companion Officer" since Jan. 14. (See the photo of the company leadership, at right.)
"Equally at home in the customer care center," reads Buddy's GoDaddy profile, "on the office putting green or visiting business owners and employees to help them chill, Buddy's expertise in making 'ruff" days a little better continues to garner accolades including, 'Who's a good boy?' "
Just setting up my Twitter. *ruff!* #myfirstTweet
— Buddy (@GoDaddyBuddy) January 13, 2015
What went wrong here?
1. GoDaddy Forgot That Bad Publicity Could Be Bad for Business. The brand was previously known for sexism, which it seemed to pull away from after showing supermodel Bar Refaeli kiss a less attractive computer programmer in "smart meets sexy" in 2013.