GoDaddy's (search) provocative Super Bowl (search) spoof of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" was pulled after making only one of two scheduled appearances, but it still generated plenty of buzz for the little-known Internet company.
Fox aired the racy ad — featuring a buxom brunette testifying before a censorship committee — in the first quarter but replaced it with a promo for animated comedy "The Simpsons" during its second time slot in the final two minutes.
The decision was prompted by NFL (search) officials complaining to Fox, according to GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, who has chronicled the company's efforts to get the controversial spot approved on his personal blog.
"After our first ad was aired, the NFL became upset and they, together with Fox, decided to pull the ad from running a second time," Parsons wrote in a posting yesterday.
The ad satirized the government crackdown on radio and TV broadcasters after the anti-indecency furor last year over Jackson's bare breast, as well as several tasteless and sophomoric ads featuring a flatulent horse and a crotch-biting dog.
While Super Bowl advertisers like beer king Anheuser-Busch vowed to tone it down this year, GoDaddy decided to test the limits. Its spot showed a busty young woman performing for graying and repressed committee members when the strap breaks on her skimpy tank top and she experiences her own near "wardrobe malfunction."
"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 repeat airing," Jon Nesvig, Fox's president of ad sales, said in a statement.
Fox, whose network censors initially approved the spot, declined to comment beyond the statement, while the NFL didn't respond to requests for comment. Fox and The Post are both owned by News Corp.
The GoDaddy spot, created by New York-based agency Ad Store, is drawing equal parts criticism and praise, based on consumer opinion polls, blogs and chat postings. Regardless, it appears to have accomplished what the company set out to do: get people talking.
Super Bowl watchers cued up their TiVos after the ad ran, leading to the highest spike in commercial replay activity during the entire game. It also ranked as the third most-watched commercial overall based on a sample of 10,000 households, according to TiVo.
The ad was No. 6 on America Online's ad poll, according to 200,000 votes cast. It scored significantly lower — placing out of the top 10 — on USA Today's closely watched Ad Meter, which asks a small group of viewers to gauge their reaction.
The ad was already having a water-cooler effect before Super Sunday. Earlier, Fox had rejected one of two spots submitted by GoDaddy and its agency as too racy.
Amid all the excitement, GoDaddy's Parsons is asking viewers to stay tuned.
"I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this over the next few days," he wrote. "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."