February 13, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Super Bowl weekend, Go Daddy paid for 2 thirty-second spots which were approved by FOX in advance although they had rejected an initial commercial
as being too adult for a general audience. After the first ad, featuring busty model Candice Michelle
gyrating in a fairly revealing tank top, NFL chief operating officer Roger Godell convinced FOX to pull the second half ad spot for the same commercial. Ironically, the ad itself is a parody and shows the model testifying before a censorship hearing board.
Some have called the commercial degrading to women and inappropriate for children. Other critics question how CEO Bob Parsons can show such a commercial after having gotten his start selling Bible software.
"Close-ups of the Philadelphia cheerleaders, right at the end of the 1st quarter, bared far more -- and were far more suggestive -- than anything that took place in our commercial" said Parsons in his website, "To this day I consider myself a Christian, but I am not a fundamentalist Christian. I am also not a member of the religious right. I am not opposed in anyway to these groups. I am just not part of them."
The debate underscores an increasing values rift between religious conservatives and the more secular population in the US. The religious right seems to feel their values are 'under attack' or that traditional values are slipping away and want to control what is shown on TV and taught in schools to reflect their faith. On the other hand, moderate Christians and others feel that when such strenuous limits are placed on what can be seen, taught or even discussed it is detrimental to freedom of speech and many of the ideals surrounding personal freedoms that the United States was founded on.
This debate carried itself out in the Presidential elections where Bush won on his ability to connect with Americans highly concerned with 'family values' and is playing itself out again in the censorship of the Go Daddy commercial.
The Go Daddy commercial has become a lightning rod because of its ability to encapsulate this debate. For Go Daddy this will likely create a windfall as their name recognition goes through the roof. For conservative fundamentalists, it is a question of having freedom from moderate or secular speech and the right to censor such speech. For moderates, secular, and non-Christain society, it is a matter of not being forced to conform to extremist