GoDaddy CEO Tramples Company’s Public Image

No publicity is bad publicity, right?

It looks like CEO Bob Parsons decided his domain-listing company’s public image was not trashy enough.

The tech executive, whose company is known for it’s “racy” television ads that show models nearly losing their tops, decided to take it up a notch when he posted a video on his blog of his killing an elephant in Zimbabwe.

PETA went ballistic, competitors offered discounts if GoDaddy customers switched over, and Parsons adopted a “Who, me?” attitude. He says his hunting is an act of humanitarianism, because the elephants were trampling farmers’ crops at night, and hungry villagers were able to butcher and eat the elephant meat.

Naming him the “Scummiest CEO of the year,” PETA wasn’t buying it. The organization asked supporters to boycott the company.

“We don’t see how it could be ‘beneficial’ or ‘rewarding’ to mow down animals who are among the most intelligent and social on Earth,” Michelle Sherrow wrote on The PETA Files blog.

On Parson’s video of his hunting trip, which inexplicably uses the AC/DC song “Hells Bells” during the hunt, hungry villagers are seen foraging for the elephant meat, wearing Go Daddy hats.

What do you think? Huge PR gaffe or deliberately planned public controversy?