GoDaddy released a Super Bowl 2015 commercial ad entitled “Journey Home” that featured the puppy Buddy, the golden retriever that got bounced out of his owner’s pickup truck and must make the voyage home. He got home but only to be told that he has already been sold on the internet, with a site made from – you guessed it – GoDaddy.com.
Dog lovers were raged by the commercial ad. “Whether or not this was meant to be satirical, it’s offensive. Essentially, GoDaddy is encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes or worse — to be euthanized,” wrote activist Helena Yurcho, who created a petition to have the ad removed on Change.org. That petition received more than 42,000 supporters in just hours so that, by Tuesday night, GoDaddy had taken down the Super Bowl spot.
However, others have already copied the video and reported it. This third-party video below may not stay long.
VIDEO: GoDaddy Puppy Commercial
UPDATE: GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving posted a statement:
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.
We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past two years, advancing the GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for. 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. 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.
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 lives permanently with one of our longtime employees.