A Christian entrepreneur who manages hosting services for dozens of churches and faith-based organizations is sounding off against marketing powerhouse GoDaddy.com after the domain registrar's famously risqué Super Bowl ads earlier this month sparked an outcry among several of his clients.
Though the suggestive nature of GoDaddy's ads is nothing new, Brian Harrell says the company "definitely crossed the line" when it ran two sexually suggestive ads featuring auto racer Danica Patrick. Since the ads aired this month, Harrell has had to move dozens of his clients' domains off of GoDaddy's hosting service and twice as many off of its web-based e-mail service.
"We have clients leaving GoDaddy e-mail and servers due to your non-Christian advertising and exploitation of females in your advertising," Harrell wrote in a strongly-worded e-mail to GoDaddy.
"Please re-think how your morals and values are looking to the public," added Harrell, who uses GoDaddy to host over 160 domains. "It seems that the GoDaddy President seems like a bit of a sex addict or pervert."
In one of the ads, IndyCar driver Danica Patrick takes her "fifth shower" of the day as three young men watch from a computer. In the other, Patrick is in a courtroom with several other women talking about who has been "enhanced." The latter ad, aired during the final moments of an extremely close Super Bowl XLIII, was the game's most viewed spot.
In response to Harrell's e-mail, GoDaddy said the company's staff "strongly believe that the freedom to express one's opinions is one of the defining factors that makes the United States a great nation."
"Although we wish your opinion of our commercials was a favorable one, please know your feedback is highly valued," it stated.
That said, Harrell plans to expand his business this year by adding between 1,000 and 2,000 churches to his online directory, and he doesn't intend to recommend GoDaddy's services to any of them
"[GoDaddy is] going to lose customers like us and every other church we come in contact with," he told Wired.com.
Currently, however, GoDaddy is the world's largest registrar of domains, managing nearly 28 million domains – more than three times the next biggest registrar, eNom.com, according to a report last year by Domain Name Wire.
Still, Harrell will continue sounding off against GoDaddy as more calls come in over GoDaddy's latest ads.
"I know they're trying to make sales, but that kind of content is not going to fly in the Christian community," he told Wired.com.