Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gone Daddy?

What do Christian conservatives and feminists have in common?

A united contempt for Bob Parsons, that's what.

Bob Parsons runs, which has received some notoriety for its Super Bowl commercials. I was blogging about them back in 2005, and they've been airing (or not airing) commercials ever since.

The 2005 commercial used a suggestive message to promote GoDaddy's $8.95/year web registration, although at some stage one wonders if the corporate message has been lost.

Certainly there's another message that is received by a wide variety of people.

Let's take Erin Kotecki Vest (@queenofspain), who simply stated:

Queen of Spain blog will no longer be a Go Daddy domain. My blog has up and moved. #suckit, Go Daddy.

Others were less succinct. Glennia Campbell (H/T Ninja Poodles! wrote a note to GoDaddy, and in the process of mentioning a technical issue, also mentioned another one:

Dear Tech Support:

My domain name is no longer referring people to my site's main page. Also, I would like to transfer my domain name registration to another site, due to your incredibly stupid and offensive ad campaign. I have 6 additional domain registrations up for renewal in May, and I will not be registering any of them with you. "ENHANCE THAT!"


"Oh," you may be saying. "So a bunch of wild-eyed feminazis got all wound up. Who cares?"

Perhaps you may want to hear from another feminazi, Brian Harrell:

Entrepreneur Brian Harrell, who manages hosting services for dozens of Christian churches and faith-based organizations and uses GoDaddy to host over 160 domains, says he's pulled several of his clients off of GoDaddy's servers after receiving numerous complaints about the company's racy ads that aired during Sunday's [Super Bowl] game.

"I know they're trying to make sales, but that kind of content is not going to fly in the Christian community," he says....

In the hours after the game ended, Harrell says he began receiving complaints from his Christian clients, who demanded their hosting and e-mail services be moved to a different provider.

And the calls kept coming. By Tuesday, Harrell says he has orders to move 20 of his clients' domains off of GoDaddy's hosting service and another 40 off of its web-based e-mail service. He anticipates more calls as word spreads across the Christian community.

Now one can say that a business can purposely take a risk at offending one segment of the market. For example, if you're a Carl's Jr. or a Del Taco, you may choose to air advertising that upsets vegans, but only because such advertising will help you address the market that you DO want to reach.

But when GoDaddy ends up angering TWO segments of the market, on different sides of the political spectrum, they'd better have a pretty good strategy for doing so.

Bob Parsons of GoDaddy has not blogged since the Super Bowl, so I don't know if any of these defections have reached a level that will affect him. And it seems like the positive attention outweighs the protests: saw its first Web traffic spike during the Super Bowl about 15 minutes after its first commercial ran, Web technology firm Akamai reported Sunday night.

Traffic to the site jumped to 433,206 visitors per minute at 7:30 ET, then was sustained at about 134,328 visitors for about 10 to 15 minutes after the an ran. That compares to 10,000 per minute on average for the site, Akamai said.

Whether these people will become paying customers, however, is another question.

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