How Became So Despised

The greatest PR failures of one simple domain registration company

This article is from the archive of our partner .

When you think Internet domain registrar, the words "sexist," "racist," and "elephant killing" don't necessarily come to mind. Unless, of course,  you're talking about, the largest domain registrar in the world. For a company that's business is as benign as selling URLs, it's not very good at staying out of trouble. Here's a list of the enemies Go Daddy has made over the years:

Animal Rights Groups

This week, Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons posted a video of himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe that infuriated animal rights groups. The video says the elephant had been damaging the crop of a desperate farmer who had asked Parsons to help him. It then showed "hungry" villagers wearing Go Daddy apparel picking apart the elephant for food. In no time, PETA vice president Tracy Reiman issued a letter to Parsons saying "I am writing to present you with PETA's first-ever Scummiest CEO of the Year Award... for your egregious disregard for the life of the elephant you shot and killed for your personal enjoyment." In response to the outrage, Parsons told a Fox affiliate "All these people that are complaining that this shouldn't happen, that these people who are starving to death otherwise shouldn't eat these elephants, you probably see them driving through at McDonald's or cutting a steak. These people [Zimbabwe villagers] don't have that option."


For years, Go Daddy has been accused of airing "misogynistic" hyper-sexualized advertisments, particularly during the Super Bowl. Regardless, the company continues churning out racy ads like this one:

Left-Wing Bloggers

Back in 2005, Parsons posted an article titled  "Close Gitmo? No way!! Think our interrogation methods are tough? Prisoners in the Middle East talk quick. Here's why."

The post set off a firestorm at left-wing sites like Daily Kos and MetaFilter with quotes such as "Key prisoners at Gitmo still have not talked -- because our interrogation methods are so weak."It was later redacted by the company.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.