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BYU Should Take a Clue from GoDaddy

In 2007 I completed the arduous task of moving over 100 domains from GoDaddy to my new registrar, MyDomain. Every time I moved one, I sent a note to the administration that I was doing so because I would  not support their sexist and objectifying advertising with my dollars.

BYU Should Take a Clue from GoDaddy

I’ve written before that sexism hasn’t always been fully on my radar. I noticed blatant things (like my sister’s high school calculus teacher saying, “Why do I bother to teach girls math when they are just going to stay home and have babies?” (Orem High School, circa 1978)). But many of the “death by a thousand cuts” issues just passed on by as “normal.” (Because, well, they were.)

A couple of years ago I heard lip service to a change in the internet giant’s advertising, but I’ve been waiting for results. Today I read an article that describes the changes that have occurred within the company, not only in advertising, but in creating a general culture that is welcoming to women at all levels. 

I’m not advocating the use of GoDaddy’s services. Frankly, I’d rather give my business to companies that have never objectified women as a matter of course. But it is gratifying to see that the cumulative efforts—and defection—of so many was finally heard. Yes, it seems to have been generated initially not by moral conscience or a desire to treat women decently, but rather to salvage the profits that have been lost, but at least it is happening. And CE Blake Irving seems genuinely concerned with issues of gender equality. Time will tell.

So what does this have to do with BYU? BYU has long had advertising agreements with Carl’s Jr. They have promoted the sleazebag giant and it’s sleazy advertising for years. Apparently BYU Athletics and the Sponsorship Group believe that advertising for this skanky company (far worse, in my experience, than GoDaddy) is just fine and dandy as long as they don’t personally approve the objectifying ads.

Yeah, that’s logical.

Today, I’ll renew my call to write to the BYU administration, BYU Athletics, the Sponsorship Group, and anyone else remotely involved. Please ask them why GoDaddy has greater moral courage than BYU. I’d really like to know.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Shawn January 29, 2015, 11:46 am

    I appreciate the stance, passion to take action, and results that have been accomplished.

    That said, the value of this particular blog post gets tainted when it has advertising at the bottom for online games that make the objectification of women by Carl’s Jr look like child’s play.

    I hope you find a remedy. 😀
    Shawn recently posted…Martin Luther King Ski Specials in Park City, UtahMy Profile

  • IdRatherNotSay January 29, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Aren’t “random” advertisements usually geared to appease the Internet activity of the individual? For example, I teach at a university and spend quite a bit of time on the school’s website so the advertisement I see on this blog right now is for a school. Since I do not play Internet games, I never see advertisements for them.

    Of course, Alison, I agree with your cause. Please let us know how BYU responds. I cannot believe this is still even an issue…

  • Alison Moore Smith January 29, 2015, 12:50 pm

    Shawn, generally speaking such ads use the cookies and history from the VISITOR’s browser to determine what to serve. In this case visitor = YOU. So the first level of defense is for YOU to stop visiting objectionable sites. 🙂

    That said, sometimes objectionable content still comes up anyway and/or advertisers change ads at the server level. If there is a particularly offensive ad you see, please let me know the company and I can put it on the kill list. You can just post it in the comments of the post.

    My ads on this page and the two links about sleazy advertising are:

    1. Grainger Industrial Supply
    2. A company called Pivot
    3. Grainger (again)

    You can also opt out of a particular advertiser Conversant advertising altogether on a given site by clicking the Ad Choices button. Vote with your click if an advertiser is objectionable.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Slow Cooker Enchilada LasagneMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith January 29, 2015, 12:52 pm

    IdRatherNotSay, the response to date (I’ve written dozens of letters) has been nonresponse.

    Next time I get a call/letter to contribute to my alma mater, I am going to refuse and tell them why.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Tangy Tasty Greek Salad DressingMy Profile

  • Bryan Stiles January 30, 2015, 11:28 am

    “Frankly, I’d rather give my business to companies that have never objectified women as a matter of course.”

    I understand a sentiment, but I can’t think of a better way to signal to marketing departments what kind of marketing you want. It’s the perfect natural experiment where all other variables are held constant and only the marketing changed. If sales go up after dropping offensive ads then what better signal could you give to the world that this is what people want?

  • Alison Moore Smith January 30, 2015, 12:14 pm

    I agree with the sentiment, Bryan. But given that I have limited resources (and limited need for domain registration), I’m not going to switch back to GoDaddy now that they’ve stopped being sexist, thus harming my current registrar that has never objectified women.

    What message would that send? That it’s better to objectify women for a decade and then stop than it is to never objectify women?

    That said, because of their actions, I have stopped condemning GoDaddy every chance I get. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Church Asks for Feeback on Temple GarmentsMy Profile

  • Alana January 30, 2015, 2:52 pm

    As a current student at the school, I wish Byu wouldn’t advertise for Carl’s Junior either. However, Church owned City creak houses stores that sell coffee, alcohol, and bikinis. While I’ve never seen an overtly sexual advertisement there, there are obvious violations to church policy being supported by church funding. Any thoughts on that?

  • Shawn January 31, 2015, 7:35 am

    Your comment had me chuckling. Other than MS Office 365, your page was the only other page I had opened on a spanking new laptop. But with all the stuff that can come bundled, including games, the ads I saw for Eve online, and MS 365 Made sense.

    Not sure I like the idea of not being able to control what ads pop up on a website. I would not want objectionable content, or even my competitors advertising on my websites, and blog.

    Certainly something I’m going to track more closely, if possible.

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