Offender: GoDaddy.com’s “Shower” and “Baseball” ads featuring Danica Patrick
Media Outlet: Aired on NBC during the Super Bowl, 2/1/09, and on TV during subsequent sporting events, with unedited versions posted online
The Offense: One ad features three young men who are able to make Danica Patrick take a shower for their amusement while they watch it over the Internet. They are also able to add another woman to the scene — a woman who works at their school and appears surprised to suddenly be in the shower. The other ad features a Congressional-like hearing on “enhancements” at the end of which a woman shows off her “enhanced” breasts.
NOW’s Analysis: The first ad promotes the control of women and the use of them as objects for voyeuristic sexual gratification. The second ad promotes the pressure on women to live up to a certain beauty standard and the use of cosmetic surgery to achieve that goal. Many boys and girls, teens and young adults watch sporting events, and these ads send a dangerous message that women are sexual playthings whose dignity and individuality are secondary to the pursuit of male approval.
Take Action: Tell Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC, what you think of GoDaddy’s ads airing during NBC’s sports programming.
Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director