GoDaddy pulls controversial Super Bowl ad after viewers protest
GoDaddy announced Tuesday night that it would be pulling a planned Super Bowl ad titled “Journey Home” from the game and replacing it with another commercial after viewers were outraged. In the ad, Buddy the golden retriever pup, gets bounced out of his owner’s pickup truck and must make the voyage home. Danica Patrick also made a cameo appearance.
Buddy’s owner greeted the him with some heartbreaking news. “I’m so glad you made it home… because I just sold you on this website I built with GoDaddy.com.”
Many viewers harshly criticized GoDaddy for promoting irresponsible breeding practices and the sale of animals. A Change.org petition to remove the ad from the Super Bowl has nearly 40,000 signatures by Tuesday evening.
The Super Bowl ad, created by Barton F. Graf, was intended to reflect the journey of many small business owners who have to be tenacious to triumph.
On Tuesday night, GoDaddy removed the video from YouTube and posted this message from CEO Blake Irving.
“This morning we previewed GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad…. The net result? 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. Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he’s been adopted permanently by one of our longtime employees.”
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick starred in a PSA with Buddy promoting dog adoption, but that video was also pulled from GoDaddy’s YouTube account.
In a statement provided to For The Win, PETA senior director Colleen O’Brien said that GoDaddy “did the right thing.”
“The sale of animals online and from pet stores and breeders should be roundly condemned, and it was today. GoDaddy did the right thing by swiftly promoting adoption. PETA’s message is that when you buy a dog from a pet store or a breeder, a dog in an animal shelter dies.”
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