GoDaddy has dropped plans to screen a tear-jerking Super Bowl commercial depicting a puppy being sold online.
After the commercial was shown on the Today show, producing stories in Time magazine, USA Today, Adweek and AdAge, the company said it wouldn’t air it after all.
40,000 viewers signed an online petition against GoDaddy running it.
Would-be viewers who want to check it out on You Tube are met with the message “This video is private.Sorry about that.”
"The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad," CEO Blake Irving wrote in a blog post. The company also pulled the video down from YouTube.
GoDaddy will replace the ad with a spot Irving said he hoped would make viewers laugh.
The original ad shows the puppy, named Buddy, falling off a truck and trying to find his way home. In order to do so he crosses train tracks, highways and travels in the rain. When he gets home his owners are relieved -- because they already sold him on a website they built with GoDaddy.
Irving wrote in the blog post.”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."
He added that that Buddy came to GoDaddy from "a reputable and loving breeder in California," and has become a member of the company as the "chief companion officer."