After more than 40,000 people signed a petition calling for its removal, GoDaddy has decided to pull a Super Bowl ad that depicted what many animal rights activists considered a “cruel and irresponsible” treatment of animals.
The spot, which was posted to YouTube, shows a puppy who, after falling out of the back of his owner’s truck, returns home only to find out he’s been sold online (with a GoDaddy domain, of course).
A petition launched by animal rights activist Helena Yurcho, which has garnered more than 42,000 signatures, stated that “whether or not this was meant to be satirical, it’s offensive.”
“Essentially, Go Daddy is encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes or worse – to be euthanized. They are also encouraging purchasing an animal online; the animal could be sold to someone who runs a fighting ring, someone who abuses animals, or to someone who cannot adequately care for the animal. Animal rights are no laughing matter and to portray them as such is cruel and irresponsible.”
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving took to Twitter on Tuesday to admit they “missed the mark” and confirmed they’d be pulling the ad.
In a statement to AdWeek, PETA director Colleen O’Brien said, “Go Daddy’s now-yanked commercial showed that anyone who sells a dog online is a callous jerk. PETA liked that about the ad. 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.”