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GoDaddy.com's PR Problem: The Elephant in the Room
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Not too long ago, CEO of GoDaddy.com Rob Parsons (pictured here... kinda) went on a safari in Zimbabwe. When he left, I'm sure he thought it would be a great way to recharge his batteries and get a cornucopia of ideas for more sleazy, innuendo-filled commercials that nearly force me to hurl my young son out of a window to avoid peeping [insert any floozy here]'s cleavage.

However, upon Parsons' return, he has encountered a PR nightmare the likes of CBS and a wardrobe malfunction can't imagine. This from the Los Angeles Times:

Bob Parsons, chief executive of the Internet domain-hosting company Go Daddy, has been roiled in controversy after he killed an elephant in Zimbabwe and posted a video of the hunt on his blog that justified the shooting because the meat fed villagers and helped farmers scare pachyderms away from crops. In response, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals closed its account with Go Daddy and urged others to do the same.

The man killed Dumbo and even posted a video to archive the whole excursion to the tune of "Hell's Bells." Yes, way. 

MEMO to the Bob Parsons Project: Of course, all that meat fed villagers. Shoot, it could feed half a country, but that's no excuse to go over there gangsta style and peel a cap in some pachyderm. Evidently, I'm not the only one who finds themselves in the odd position of agreeing with PETA on this one.

According to TheDomains.com, the feeding frenzy from the much lesser-known competitors in the registrar space is on.

In response to the masses of users looking for a new provider, two companies, DomainIt and NameCheap have both stepped up to offer deals to any clients looking for a quick alternative. 

DomainIt is offering a 50 percent discount on all 1- and 2-year hosting plans, and $10 of every plan will be donated to the WorldWildLifeFund.org. And NameCheap said via e-mail that all transfers would only be $4.99 each, and that they would donate $1 for each transfer to SaveTheElephants.org.

The large problem with this kerfuffle PETA is trying to raise is that a great portion of this fair land of ours is apathetic. People with GoDaddy.com accounts will see the video, read the story and think, "Man, that's terrible." And be on their merry way to eat a hamburger (double with cheese, probably). That would allow Parsons to see this issue as a win; he got the press, acts like a demagogue, still has 95 percent of his customer base, and marked something off his bucket list.

Still think all publicity is good publicity? I'll bet you a collection of Babar books someone does.

   

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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