HomeAway CEO can’t stomach another Super Bowl ad
Don’t expect a Super Bowl three-peat from HomeAway Inc.
Although the Austin vacation rental company generated plenty attention from its advertisements during the last two Super Bowls, CEO Brian Sharples said Wednesday it’s unlikely to happen after all the unwanted attention the last Super Bowl commercial caused.
HomeAway’s (Nasdaq: AWAY) last ad raised eyebrows because it included a baby test dummy smushed against a room window to illustrate crowded hotel accommodations. It produced protests that prompted company officials to subsequently pull the ad and issue apologies to children’s rights organizations.
HomeAway then received additional attention when it was lauded for its responsible response to the criticism.
Speaking at the Capital Factory’s Demo Day at the University of Texas, Sharples said the attention the Super Bowl ads yielded wasn’t worth the aggravation.
“It worked out great,” he said. But “after the experience last year, I don’t have the stomach for it.”