GoDaddy has pulled the ad they released on YouTube earlier this week (and had planned to air on Sunday during the Super Bowl) after animal rights activists freaked out over puppy cruelty issues. The spot itself was meant to be a parody of “Lost Dog,” Budweiser’s follow-up to last year’s “Puppy Love,” but apparently it was a misfire.
The ad itself sees an adorable dog bounding around until the audience falls in love with it, at which point it finds its owner, who is relieved because she had just sold the dog on her GoDaddy website and was about to have it next-day shipped.
Animal rights activists, however, didn’t appreciate the joke. Or, instead of recognizing it was a JOKE, decided to get up in arms over the fact that a puppy being next-day shipped is obviously from a puppy mill. The SPCA argued that the JOKE AD supported inhumane breeding, while Change.org asserted that the ad encouraged puppy mills.
“Puppies thrown in a cardboard box in the back of a pickup?” asked one anonymous commenter, according to Adweek. “Most likely being transported from puppy mill to broker since no mother in sight? No health tests on parents? Breeder too lazy for a proper kennel name?”
It was just a joke, Francis (albeit, not a particularly funny one, animal-rights complaints aside).
Anyway, GoDaddy decided to pull the ad in response to the backlash, because you don’t spend $4 million to piss a lot of people off. Instead, they will air a backup ad during the Super Bowl.