Maybe I joined them because I had heard from others more experienced that their product really was the best available at the time. Maybe I stayed with them because I had already paid for 2 years of my domain name. Maybe I stayed because I had actually had very good customer service help from them, and had never experienced any difficulties with my site. I've often gagged at their aggressively sexist advertising, but I am a technophobe, and the less I have to deal with the mechanics of my domain name, the better. I gagged, but I swallowed.
Well, I am proud to say I refuse to swallow any more. I'm embarrassed it has taken me this long, but for the sake of so much I care about and write about, I am throwing Go Daddy out. Their 2013 Superbowl ad was the proverbial last straw.
There is so much wrong with their advertising campaign in general, I don't even know where to begin. Feel free to go to Google or YouTube for examples. I would rather not link to it here. Suffice it to say it has always been blatant in its promise of pornography and objectification of women. The ads that did make it to television (many have been banned) invite you to visit the website for the longer, unrated versions of these commercials. Feel free if you're into long close-ups of the unadorned female genitalia. I have no problem with pornography (well, that's not true - many things about it bother me) but I'd rather not see it advertised on something I'm watching with my 9-year-old.
Don't get me wrong. The ads that make it to TV aren't pornographic, but they are clearly USING pornography to sell their product, and I can't in good conscience participate in it any more. I know my measly site with actual subscribers only in the double digits, and average monthly views in the triple digits realistically means nothing to them. I also know that the very same thing that motivates me to cut ties actually propels them to great success. Doesn't matter. They're still gone.
Here are some other reasons I can no longer stomach Go Daddy.
1. Their recent ads are based on the notion that brains and beauty don't often come packaged together. They are mutually exclusive in Go Daddy's eyes. Except in THEIR product. They can make being smart sexy! Because lord knows when you see a beautiful woman, it's WAAAAY too much to ask that she have intellectual substance, too. And lord knows if you see a man who isn't a Calvin Klein model, there's no WAY he can have a sexy side. This premise is so insulting to BOTH genders, and it does way more harm than good.
2. Danica Patrick. One step forward, three steps back. Her breakthrough career in the man's world of racing opened doors for women, although she's always been comfortable using her beauty to get ahead. I'm not sure a female racer who looked like Jabba the Hut would have made it that far - even if she had the talent. But Danica Patrick DOES have talent, and I don't fault her for using her looks to further her racing career. By lending her name and image, though, to such blatantly sexist advertising - advertising that does its level best to REDUCE women to sex toys and nothing more - I'd assert she is making it MORE difficult for women to succeed and be taken seriously in ANYTHING they undertake. I mean, seriously - is this a career path you'd recommend for Sam Gordon? The 9-year-old girl who plays football, and DESTROYS any team she's playing? Not with her looks, mind you - but with her incredible talent?
3. "A Perfect Match." This is the title of their 2013 Superbowl ad in which an Israeli (female, did I really need to say that?) supermodel represents "Sexy" while a pudgy, red-faced man shaped like a water balloon represents "Smart." They kiss for at least 20 seconds of the spot. We're treated to close-ups of their mouths and slurpy audio that goes with their kissing for almost that entire time. My family room and everyone in it at the time wanted to poke out their mind's eye and ear with a fork. If it was possible, I'm sure the wall onto which the TV is mounted would have ripped itself from my house and run into the woods screaming, "MAKE IT STOP!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!"
Now, before anyone gets all up in my grill about if the guy was hot, would I have liked it any more, let me be clear. No. No, I would not have. I will be honest with you - I dislike being that close to anyone engaging in anything sexual no matter WHAT they look like. Unless, of course, I am one of the people involved. I'd be willing to bet many people feel that way. When you engage in sexual activity in public - on a park bench, at the movies, etc., you make it very difficult for people NOT to look at you. Of course, I can look away, but when I am in public, I resent being put in that position. When I'm watching the Superbowl with friends and family, I shouldn't find myself diving for the remote frantically trying to find the "Mute" button.
To me, Go Daddy is the Howard Stern of the advertising world. Smart, successful, funny - because to be fair, quite a few of their commercials are smart and funny - but so degrading to women that I cannot support them with my business. Here's the bottom line. The degree to which Go Daddy demeans women is so egregious, for me it completely erases any positives their services have to offer. Their tactics go beyond entertaining. Beyond offensive. Beyond sexist. Beyond aggressive. We're bordering on sociopathy, here, and I'm done.
This post origanally published on my blog, The Worthington Post.