Domain name registrar and Web hosting service Go Daddy has been no stranger to controversy in 2011. In April, a video of then-CEO and current executive chairman Bob Parsons killing an elephant sparked outrage among animal activists and the general public.
Recently, the new CEO, Warren Adelman, incited holiday jeers among the audience that matters the most—Go Daddy's customers—when he said on Dec. 22 that Go Daddy supported the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation proposed in Congress. SOPA is viewed by many Netizens as a law that could block and censor sites for alleged copyright infringement without full due process.
Although the company backtracked the next day—saying it didn't support SOPA after all—the damage was done, as some 72,000 Go Daddy domains have reportedly been canceled. Now, users on the social networking site Reddit are calling for a "Dump Go Daddy Day" on Dec. 29.
Companies like Apple, Intuit and the Walt Disney Company have come out in favor of SOPA. But none have earned the online wrath like Go Daddy has. Its thousands of domain provider competitors have pounced on the controversy, offering tempting deals to switch from Go Daddy to their services.
Besides issuing apologies and clarifications, what should this company do to soften the potential blow on Dec. 29? For starters, Adelman might want to talk to execs at Netflix, who went through a similar customer drain this year after its infamous price restructuring.