GoDaddy pulls puppy Super Bowl ad over animal rights complaints

The ad stars a lost golden retriever puppy who returns home only to find out that his owners want to sell him online.
By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |  Jan. 28, 2015 at 2:05 AM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- GoDaddy, which was once notorious for its raunchy, sexualized depictions of women, has now upset puppy lovers.

The web hosting company said Wednesday that it would pull its latest Super Bowl ad over complaints that it promotes "inhumane" breeding practices.

In the ad, an adorable golden retriever puppy falls off the back of the truck, then travels day and night to return home to his owners.

"I'm so glad you made it home," the puppy's owner says when she greets him. "Because I just sold you on this website I built with"

The commercial, which debuted Tuesday, had animal rights activists up in arms on social media.

"If you can buy a puppy online and have it shipped to you the next day, it's likely you're supporting inhumane breeding. #GoDaddyPuppy," tweeted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A petition opposing the ad garnered more than 40,000 signatures.

"Essentially, Go Daddy is encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes or worse -- to be euthanized," read the petition. "Animal rights are no laughing matter and to portray them as such is cruel and irresponsible."

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving conceded to critics of the ad on Wednesday.

"What should have been a fun and funny ad clearly missed the mark and we will not air it," he tweeted.

He added later in a GoDaddy blog post, titled "We're listening, message received," that the company had "underestimated the emotional response" to the ad.

Irving also said that Buddy had been adopted by a longtime GoDaddy employee.

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