GoDaddy yanks Super Bowl ad after puppy mill criticism

While GoDaddy typically relies on sexual innuendo for the company’s Super Bowl advertisement, the company attempted to mock Budweiser’s puppy ads for this year’s big game. Unfortunately, the Web-hosting company angered animal rights activists with this year’s ad. Some critics of the advertisement believe that the ad promoted the operation of puppy mills, a typically inhumane dog breeding facility that’s being operated for profit rather than focusing on the safety of the animals.

In the advertisement, a cute Golden Retriever puppy named Buddy is launched out of the back of a pickup truck due to improper safety practiced by an incompetent owner. After the puppy supposedly travels many miles in dangerous areas of the country, Buddy returns to the same incompetent owner, only to be sold and shipped off a new home via a delivery service. The puppy business, called Gabby’s Goldens, was only able to sell Buddy due to the company’s helpful website provided by GoDaddy.

In response to the failure of the ad, GoDaddy CEO Black Irving saidOur 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. And we heard that loud and clear. 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.”

Releasing a statement to Fortune, Melanie Lynn Kahn, senior director at The Human Society, saidI understand the GoDaddy ad was an attempt to poke fun at the Budweiser ad last year that was so successful and loved by people, The majority of people in our country own dogs, so when any of us see an image of a dog being treated in a cruel manner, it strikes a chord with us.”

Of course, some critics of the advertisement believe that the ad could be nothing more than a marketing stunt that was specifically intended to fail. GoDaddy representatives mentioned that the company will still run an ad during the Super Bowl this year, thus it’s likely the company already had another ad ready to go that already received approval from the NFL.


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