But after growls of disapproval on social media, the Internet behemoth has decided to sack the Super Bowl ad just hours after it was first previewed.
The 30-second commercial unveiled Tuesday stars Buddy, a golden retriever puppy who falls out of his owner’s pickup. The dog battles rough terrain and the elements to make his way back home – only to find out that his owner had set up a website (on GoDaddy.com, of course) to sell him. At the end of the spot, NASCAR star Danica Patrick – the face of GoDaddy – scoops up the puppy in a van and drives off.
Dog lovers were not amused. A Change.org petition accusing the company of encouraging puppy mills garnered more than 42,000 signatures and the Twitterverse galvanized animal advocates with the hashtag #GoDaddyPuppy.
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving quickly released a statement, saying the company would not air the ad.
“At the end of the day, our 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,” Irving said. “And we heard that loud and clear.”
So where is the star of the ad now? Rest assured, Irving tells us that Buddy came from a “reputable and loving breeder in California.”
“He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he lives permanently with one of our longtime employees,” Irving writes.
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) December 13, 2014