The NFL and Fox Broadcasting pulled-the-plug on the second showing of a provocative, bra-snapping television commercial purchased by a Scottsdale-based company for Super Bowl Sunday.
But the firm, GoDaddy.com, a domain registrar for computer Web sites, is smiling at the notoriety the cancellation — and the commercial — is getting.
"So far, in early opinion polls, our ad seems to be finishing fairly high," Bob Parsons, owner of GoDaddy.com told his more than 200 East Valley employees and literally thousands of others who visited his Web site.
"I believe that it’s the first time ever a decision was made to pull an ad after it had already been run once during the same broadcast," Parsons wrote.
The ad, which cost more than $3 million for 30 seconds, ran during the first quarter on the Fox network telecast and was scheduled to run again during the final two minutes of the Super Bowl.
A marquis, or logo, listing the company name was also to have run but it, too, was withheld.
Jon Nesvig, president of advertising sales for Fox Broadcasting Company, said the ad and marquis were pulled because they were "out of step."
"When the GoDaddy.com spot aired in the first half, it became obvious to us that its content was very much out of step with the tenor set by the other ads and programming broadcast by Fox on Super Bowl Sunday, so Fox made the decision to drop its airing.
"We understand GoDaddy.com’s disappointment with our decision, but ultimately we are responsible for what our network broadcasts."
Fox would not say whether the network was influenced by the NFL in its decision to pull the ad. Several calls to the NFL headquarters in New York and Los Angeles were not returned.
The GoDaddy.com ad was a spoof of the "wardrobe malfunction" incident by singer Janet Jackson in which her right breast was briefly revealed during a performance at last year’s Super Bowl. Neither Parsons nor his publicity agent, Nick Fuller, could say whether the GoDaddy.com would be reimbursed for the ad that was held back.
The Scottsdale company’s ad, one of more than 50 that ran during less than three hours Sunday and cost buyers an estimated $200 million, was the company’s first attempt at national television advertising.
It was also the second choice, Parsons said. The first, which runs for two minutes, was rejected by both the NFL and Fox Broadcasting, Parsons said. No reason, other than the length of the ad, was given for the initial rejection.
It, as well as the 30-second TV commercial, can be viewed on GoDaddy.com Web site.
Meanwhile, Parsons said the ad received media attention even before it was pulled.
"Our ad was shown in its entirety on CNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC and Fox," Parsons wrote. "In addition to national coverage, it was shown and/or discussed on hundreds of local television and radio channels.
"Because of the media attention our ad received, millions of people across the country who didn’t know we existed, are now aware of GoDaddy.com."
However, the ad was among several that drew collective scorn from more than 50 advertising and marketing people who attended AdBowl II, the second examination of Super Bowl advertising sponsored by Louie Moses and Jos Anshell, owners of a public relations and marketing firm in Phoenix.
The viewers watched 59 ads, including GoDaddy.com’s, then nominated some of them for each of eight categories, including Best of Show and Worst of Show.
GoDaddy.com’s ad was nominated for the Biggest Waste of Money along with Gladys Knight’s performance for the ad sponsored by MBNA, a financial company. The MBNA ad won.
Parsons, a Vietnam war veteran, started his company from his home in 1984. Annual revenue in 2004 reached $102 million. Another office will be opened later this month in Gilbert and will employ between 200 and 225.