June 25, 2009 – (HOSTSEARCH.COM) – A GoDaddy.com commercial featuring Danica Patrick in a vintage Ford Mustang was rejected over the weekend after airing once during NBC’s U.S. Open broadcast – now, a debate is swirling about exactly who pulled the ad and why.
Under mounting pressure from media inquiries into the story, Lexus now says NBC independently made the decision to block Go Daddy’s approved thirty-second ad titled “Speeding.” NBC representatives, who, thus far, have refused to take calls from Go Daddy’s communication staff, have positioned it as not wanting to “insult” Lexus.
Late Friday, NBC informed Go Daddy “Speeding” could not air on Saturday or Sunday because, as the exclusive broadcast sponsor of the event, Japanese automaker Lexus did not want competitor commercials or even commercials containing other vehicles to be seen. Today, Lexus went on the defensive, saying it did not directly ask NBC to pull the Go Daddy ad. Lexus now says NBC made the call on its own.
"I'm not sure what's going on between NBC and Lexus," said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. "It's ridiculous to think the network would have us scramble for a replacement ad without even checking with their sponsor. The point is NBC knows Lexus would prefer that people watching the United States Open didn't see or even think about the United States automakers."
This is the first time ever a Go Daddy ad has been pulled because of a product contained in the ad. Go Daddy’s ads have historically been targeted by censors for their edgy nature, starting in 2005 when its first-ever Super Bowl commercial was pulled after airing once on FOX because it was deemed “inappropriate.”
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a case of the American auto industry getting kicked when it’s down,” said Parsons. “Who would even imagine a Go Daddy ad being rejected because it features a classic American automobile!?”
Parsons is a decorated military veteran, known for growing his domain name registrar and Web hosting company into a world leader without outsourcing or off-shoring a single job. He was criticized for throwing a nearly $2MM holiday party for employees in December after a record revenue year in 2008 and argued with the media that spending money is the precisely right move during an economic recession.
The outspoken CEO is active on Twitter as @DrBobParsons and just last week, before this latest controversy, posted a video showing off his new pride and joy - a 2010 SS Camaro made by Chevrolet.