I first read about the Go Daddy Super Bowl Puppy ad on the awesome site for all things dogs, Dog Files. I was floored! How could a large company pay a large ad agency to come up with this ad?? I would have thought that someone, anyone, at one of those companies would have raised an objection…and therein lies the problem. It’s clear that more helpful educating must be done so more people understand the problem (this is why I write).
If you haven’t seen the ad, Ad Week has it here in their article on the subject.
The gist of the ad: A puppy in a cardboard box in the back of a pick up truck falls out, finds his way back to the farm, where his breeder greets him and notes that thankfully she got this great website and already sold him online. This is where all animal advocates felt our hearts sink. What could have been another great animal commercial became a big mistake. Huge!
The Problems: Reputable breeders don’t sell dogs online. Period. Reputable breeders want to meet the potential owners and you should want to meet the breeder and the puppy’s parents, should you choose to purchase a dog from a breeder.* Don’t you want to see how healthy the parents are? Don’t you want to make sure the breeder is keeping the dogs in a safe, clean, and healthy environment? You should. Ask anyone who has worked with puppy mill dogs and they will tell you that most puppy mill dogs are sold online and if you have a weak stomach, you don’t want to know the conditions in which breeder dogs are kept. Puppy Mill Dogs (those sold online usually are from mills) are treated as a commodity with little or no regard for their well-being or the well-being of their parents…as long as money is being made on them, that’s the only concern.
The Good News: Go Daddy has pulled the ad and says they will be airing an alternate commercial. I am so happy to hear that Go Daddy listened to those in the dog community and realized the problem with the commercial. If we can kindly educate others as to why things like this are bad, then we are making progress! Hooray for open minds!!
Might I suggest to Go Daddy a commercial using rescue dogs? There are many well-trained rescue dogs who already appear in commercials and movies…even this awesome video from the band, OK Go, for their song “White Knuckles” features some rescue dogs.
I’m glad that a dialog has started with this issue and hope that Go Daddy uses this opportunity to make a positive impact regarding responsible pet ownership. For those of us who are passionate about animal welfare, we would LOVE to have the money and resources that Go Daddy has to educate the public. Let’s turn a negative into a positive!
To learn more about the plight of puppy mill dogs, please visit: www.MillDogRescue.org. National Mill Dog Rescue is an amazing organization whose mission is to save mill dogs, they’ve inspired me to do my part and I hope they inspire you, too!
*Note: There are many great dogs and puppies in shelters and with rescue groups, including pure bred dogs! I’m not going to get into the issue of breeders here as it’s a very contentious issue for another day, but there are very good reputable breeders, you just have to do your homework, and you should because adding a pet to your life is for life.