(WITI) -- "GoDaddy" says "we're listening," as it announces it is pulling its controversial Super Bowl ad as a result of feedback from the public.
The ad for the internet domain registrar and web hosting company features a puppy falling from a moving truck -- separated from his siblings. He then must make a treacherous journey home.
As the puppy returns to a bright red barn, his owner says "Buddy! I'm so glad you made it home -- because I just sold you on the website I made with GoDaddy!" The last scene shows Buddy loaded in a box in the back of a van -- driven by GoDaddy spokeswoman -- racecar driver Danica Patrick -- being dispatched to his new owner. As the door slams shut, the woman commands, "Ship him out."
Animal activists and members of the public alike were outraged by the ad -- called "Journey Home." The Huffington Post reports more than 35,000 people signed an online petition calling for the ad to be pulled.
As a result, GoDaddy announced Tuesday, January 27th it is pulling the ad -- posting this statement on its website:
This morning we previewed GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad.
We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past two years, advancing the GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for. At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause. However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear.
The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh.
Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he lives permanently with one of our longtime employees.
TMZ.com reports GoDaddy will still use it's 30-second Super Bowl slot, though so far, it's unclear what will run in the ad's place.
CLICK HERE for more on this story via TMZ.com.