Keeping Pressure on Sexist Super Bowl Advertisers

UPDATE: GoDaddy’s responds to a customer’s letter. Click to jump down the page.

We’re thrilled with the overwhelming success of last night’s #NotBuyingIt campaign! Thousands of tweets called out sexist commercials in real-time, and we reached nearly 1 million people through user activity on Twitter during the Super Bowl. Now the impact of the conversation has spread well beyond the game.

Today the #NotBuyingIt talk swept across the Internet, from Mother Jones to Feministing. On Twitter, consumers continued to express dismay at some of the most egregious offenders (like @Fiat, @Teleflora and @GoDaddy), proving that there are many women and men out there who are tired of advertisers’ lack of creativity. It’s clear that this year, Super Bowl sexism isn’t selling.

The timing is right! Let’s keep the pressure on. We’re specifically targeting GoDaddy for their history of offensive commercials and encourage you to take the following steps to join us:

1. Continue tweeting @godaddy, letting them know you’re #notbuyingit. In the past 24 hours we’ve seen a flood of tweets directed at GoDaddy and as a result, the company has responded by suggesting equally offensive “alternative” commercials. In any case, we have their attention.

2. If you haven’t already, leave their hosting service. Then ask others to do the same! Here’s how.

3. Write GoDaddy a letter. We just sent them the message below expressing our disgust. You can use it as a template or write your own!

Dear GoDaddy,

For years your company has relied on objectifying and demeaning women in Super Bowl commercials. These ads not only needlessly stereotype women, but rely on shallow and offensive portrayals of men as well. As the #notbuyingit campaign on Twitter has shown, we are far from alone in our disgust with your history of sexism.

On Facebook you currently have the lowest rated Super Bowl ad of the night, as voted by potential consumers, and many have written extensively about their distaste for your ads. Your brand of sexism is no longer selling.

People are organizing online and using their power as consumers to let you know they’ve had enough. We at MissRepresentation.org switching all of our domains from GoDaddy, but we are actively encouraging everyone we know to do the same. Many are already making the move.

That’s why we’re writing you today to urge you to reconsider your advertising strategy. We’d even like to offer our hand in helping rebrand your company. We believe GoDaddy is capable of creating effective commercials without resorting to sexism. It just takes conscious effort.

That being said, until you’re willing to value women and girls, we will continue to organize consumers to call out GoDaddy.com.

We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

MissRepresentation.org

The three steps above can also be used to call out any of the other offensive Super Bowl advertisers.

We have already shown, through the response to #NotBuyingIt, the power of individual voices used collectively to fight sexism. The advertisers are on notice, and we just have to keep it up. Together we’re making a difference.

UPDATE:

GoDaddy has responded to some #NotBuyingIt letters today. Susan B. sent us this:

Susan B.,

Thank you for contacting Online Support. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts about our Super Bowl campaign. As a company we have strived, some may say unsuccessfully, to have a little fun with our advertising … but when it comes to taking care of business, we are absolutely serious about taking care of customers like you. Go Daddy respects feedback, even critical opinions. Please know we will share your correspondence with the appropriate parties internally.

Sincerely,
Raymond L.
Online Support Team

Have you received a response to your letter? Let us know and keep up the great work!

20 Comments

  1. Sara Harned says:

    Dear GoDaddy,

    I think the fact that you have to stereotype women in your commercials is very unoriginal, uncreative, and completely insulting to every women. The message you send to your consumers is part of your civic responsibilities. You are responsible just like everyone else who promotes this warp image of women. What if it was your daughter doing that add? How would you feel then? We women don’t like it, and we aren’t buying it!

  2. PJ Donnellan says:

    Not only sexist but stupid. Apparently no one on go daddy has daughters or sisters or mothers.

  3. Marie desJardins says:

    How about creating a list of godaddy customers so we can contact *those* websites and let them know we think they should switch?

  4. My website domain is with GoDaddy, but I’m seriously considering switching to another provider. I just need to figure out how to do that.

  5. [...] suivi a été fait sur Internet, notamment par les médias sociaux. Alors que j’écris ceci, leur dernier billet de blogue parle de leur campagne #NotBuyingIt sur Twitter, une offensive en direct pour dénoncer les [...]

  6. Lancelot Smith says:

    I watched most of the SuperBowl. Im on the fence about this. Although I do not like or condone exploitation of any kind, in the truest sense of the word talent was most likely paid very well. On the sexist issue part of it it needs to be said that a woman’s body is a powerful thing and is used often to manipulate men into buying into something. Its a very primal thing. Albeit we hope we have evolved since the Declaration of Sentiments in the 1800′s it takes time. Im a man, and honestly i love seeing a woman’s body in all shapes in advertising. Men are also now being advertised in such a way. Are people up in arms about seeing guys in their underwear? No not really. Hypocracy aside I think at some point we as a culture just need to make up our own mind to what is sexy for them and what is not. You vote with your pocket books. If you don’t like the Ads you see dont use Go daddy services, simple as that.

    • Michelle says:

      Surely there are more creative ways to get male customers and get attention from men. Or are you perfectly ok with advertisers pinning you to be a big dumb guy who gawks and drools at a woman with no real intellect or respect for women. You’re really ok with how they frame you all to be a bunch of pathetic, dumb pigs? Ooook. Well, just like there are some men who are offended at that kind of advertising-women are offended that we are consistently seen as objects and we KNOW that this affects the way other men see us therefore making for a more unequal, hostile environement/society for us. There are consequences when you are an advertiser and there is power in groups so that’s exactly what we’re doing-expressing our god given rights in voicing our opinion about how we aren’t going to buy their products. I think it’s about time we did something about this! blah blah blah sex sells blah blah is also called LAZY advertising. You don’t need half a brain to create that! As for the hypocrisy-i only partially agree with you. While I don’t like anyone being sexually exploited-male or female, when it’s the male who is the patriarch/oppressor of society, it just will never have the same effect so your argument doesn’t really work. Oh and by the way, women don’t care to see hunky men in underwear-seriously, we could care less. I guess we just crave mental stimulation more.

    • Jamie says:

      I assume you’re talking about the David Beckham commercial? Well, that was an underwear commercial, was it not? The nature of the subject is going to require showing the human body. Women aren’t upset about this the same way they’re not upset about Victoria’s Secret commercials. (We’re upset about those because they perpetuate unachievable standards for the female body, which is a different subject.) But GoDaddy as a company has nothing to do with underwear or the human body – it actually couldn’t be less about that – it’s a damn web hosting site. The woman’s body need not be exploited in the way it is.

  7. Their response illustrates how much they believe any publicity is good publicity. They meant to piss us off.

  8. Crystal says:

    Here’s the response I received from them:

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    Thank you for contacting online support.
    We appreciate you taking the time to send us your feedback regarding our advertisements. Please understand we produce a variety of commercial messages and work to appeal to a wide range of audiences.

    We are happy to pass your feedback to the appropriate departments within our organization.
    Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.
    Sincerely,
    Vaughn K.
    Customer Care

  9. Stephanie Bora says:

    I used your template, and this is the response I got back from GoDaddy: Dear Sir or Madam,
    Thank you for contacting online support.
    We appreciate you taking the time to send us your feedback regarding our advertisements. Please understand we produce a variety of commercial messages and work to appeal to a wide range of audiences.

    We are happy to pass your feedback to the appropriate departments within our organization.
    Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

    What a huge brush off!

  10. Michelle says:

    Oh and advertisers should be held responsible for reinforcing sexism and racism. I realize that there will never be regulation in this industry because it will be considered censorship and a violation of freedom of expression or something so it really is left up to us-the people to make our voices heard loud and clear until the ignorance is no longer tolerated on our tv’s. Also, did u know that advertising to childern is against the law in Europe? I think thats a great idea!! too bad we live in good ol US of A where idiocy trumps common sense.

  11. Unimpressed. Did anyone involved in this GoDaddy campaign take a breath and figure out how many WOMEN BLOGGERS use your service. Apparently not. I was thinking of switching next year, but not now.

  12. I am a web designer who has been a loyal godaddy customer for 10 years, and I have referred many of my clients to them. However, I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with their advertising presence. As a business owner, who’s client include both men and women, I find my slavish loyalty to godaddy increasingly unsupportable. Their customer service is unparalleled- but their objectification of women in increasingly offensive ways is also unparalleled. Too bad they decided to focus their brand identity on pandering to the adolescent sensibilities of computer nerds( which I assume makes up a great portion of their customer base)- instead of focusing on how their customer service stands high above their competitors. I will write to godaddy to make myself heard- but I will also take my business elsewhere.

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  15. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the site is really good.

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