FORT MYERS, Fla.-The website-building company GoDaddy has decided to pull it’s Super Bowl ad, after online backlash.
The commercial, called “Journey Home” features a golden retriever puppy named Buddy. The puppy falls out of his family’s pickup-truck and treks through rough terrain and a thunderstorm to get home.
That’s when the ad takes a turn. The dog runs into it’s owner’s arms, a blond woman who shouts “I’m so glad you made it home! Because I just sold you on this website I made with GoDaddy.”
At the end of the spot, NASCAR star Danica Patrick – the face of GoDaddy – puts the puppy in a van and drives off.
A Change.org petition accuses the company of encouraging puppy mills, with more than 42,000 people signing it in support. Thousands of people also took to Twitter using the hashtag #GoDaddyPuppy to show their disgust.
Late Tuesday, GoDaddy announced it would pull the ad.
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving quickly released a statement, saying, “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.”