Who Would Have Thought? A WOMAN Behind GoDaddy’s Tasteless Ads

Meet Barb Rechterman.

She is the senior executive Vice President and chief marketing officer for GoDaddy.

Last week after GoDaddy debuted their new sexist ad during the Super Bowl, women all over America figured this ad was the product of some college aged frat boy, not a middle aged business woman.

While this development was a slight shock to me, I was not completely surprised. Today we live in a society where female-based misogyny is something we have all just become accustom to. No longer do women have a sense of loyalty to each other like we once experienced in this country. Today we see an every-woman-for-herself type mentality, where we are no longer ashamed of throwing another under the bus to advance ourselves, or just give a small boost of self esteem. (Although that certainly is not all women today!)

In a recent interview with Forbes, Rechterman said:

I can tell you the Super Bowl is a platform where you have the opportunity to make an impact. “Perfect Match” highlights the two sides of GoDaddy, the sexy and smart sides. Whether you loved it or hated it, it’s a memorable spot, and that spot, by the way, helped us achieve our best sales day ever, the Monday after the Super Bowl. We’ve been in business since 1997, and we’ve done nine years’ of Super Bowl ads, so for us to have our best sales day ever, that’s saying a lot.

While many people may be jumping on the GoDaddy bandwagon, many are also jumping ship on their services and transferring their websites to other hosts. Most of those disgruntled customers being women who not only feel disgusted by their ads, but turned off by their business practices.

Some just take issue with the quality of their services and sub-par customer service, which is why I jumped ship. But as a woman seeing their prized Super Bowl ad this year, I could never do business with them with a clear conscious in the future. Ever.

When Rechterman was questioned about certain negative stereotypes the ad pushed, she could only plead ignorance:

A lot of the criticism of “Perfect Match” accused it of reinforcing certain negative stereotypes. Did that bother you to hear? 

I’m not sure what negative stereotypes it reinforced.

I guess it was the idea that beautiful women are dumb and need men to help them, that beautiful, dumb women and rich, unattractive men go together.

Interesting. I had not thought of it that way. But I can tell you the goal here was not to stereotype at all, but to make it about two things: to make it acceptable for a beautiful woman to kiss a nerdy guy who might have money, or to make it acceptable for a nerdy guy to kiss a beautiful woman. The goal was to demonstrate our edgy heritage and make it smart, and I think it did that.

Is it fair to say your target customer is a man, given how much of your advertising involves sexy women? 

No, our target customer is everybody. I come from a family of eight women, so I’ve got a lot of siblings I  have to please.

Sadly she doesn’t understand the message this may be sending, and why so many women in America are pretty pissed.

On our Facebook page, some readers chimed in:

Maya said: “That has been their m.o. for years, their entire marketing plan is woman hating. It’s part of the reason that I went with the woman owned company that I use. Bizzy mama.”

Christine said: “So completely annoyed by that commercial! You would not believe the string of questions and conversation that commercial triggered with my 5 year old daughter!”

Anne Marie said : “GoDaddy – single-handedly setting women back 50 years.”

I guess my point in all of this is… I am kind of shocked a woman could be so ignorant to the backlash and blatant offensive manner of the ads they are creating. But then again, not much surprises me these days.

How do you feel, learning a woman is the mastermind behind these sexist ads?

Photo Credit: Forbes

  • An executive woman in a man’s world. Of course her target is men, and she may pretend she doesn’t get it, but she does. All this hype? All the controversy? It’s continued advertising – for free. A marketer’s dream. The sadder message she is sending is that in order for women to succeed in a male-dominated environment such as hers, they must leave behind all the things that concern us women. They must approach business very much like a man and kill any sense of female sensibilities in the process. I wonder how she views herself? As the sexy idiot, or the smart troll.

  • Disgusted. And glad I fired them. And sadly, it is proof that possession of a uterus does not necessarily equal possession of intellect.

  • Marti Teitelbaum

    I was probably one of three people in the U.S. who hadn’t seen the ad. Now I have. Not only is it sexist, it’s tasteless. It’s disgusting and turns a kiss into something that feels dirty rather than romantic or sexy.
    I guess it’s pretty effective for straight white guys who feel bad about the way they look and are utterly without any sensitivity.

  • just_jess

    How is it that we are allowed to be manipulated this way in this day and age. This ad just shows how marketing is all about getting more than your money’s worth. Every time someone interviews her or reports about it it gives them more publicity.

    I’m offended because I am a woman but also because I know those kinds of “nerdy” people. And they are people too. Granted, some would be hanging off the chair with their chins on the ground, but most are down to earth and hate to be shown this way.

    I will give it to them, the idea behind the campaign is genius. But there was no need for it to be played out that way. It needed be so crude, rude and offensive. But I guess we wouldn’t all be talking about it if they didn’t, right?

  • not only do I think she knew exactly what she was doing, I think she loves all the free press that GD is getting.

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