Monday, February 2, 2009

The Unseen Super Bowl Ad

As usual, most of the Super Bowl ads last night were pretty good. There was, however, at least one ad that didn't get played: this one.

Why didn't the ad get played? Apparently NBC refused to carry any political style ads during the Super Bowl. It should be noted, however, that PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - also had an ad rejected. But not for political reasons. Their ad was rejected because it was too sexually explicit. PETA was apparently told by NBC that their ad would be run if they could tone down the sexuality. PETA apparently declined. But wait a minute: isn't PETA at least a semi-political group? Read more about this hypocrisy below.

NBC Sacks Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

Network Nixes Commercial Celebrating Potential of Life

CHICAGO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBC has rejected an uplifting and positive pro-life ad submitted for its Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told today that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving "political advocacy or issues."

Brian Burch, President of reacted: "There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC's parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life."

"NBC told that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements. But that's not what they told PETA," said Burch. "There's no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group. NBC rejected PETA's ad for another reason altogether."

According to an email posted on, Victoria Morgan, Vice President of Advertising Standards for Universal, said: "The PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." Morgan even detailed "edits that need to be made" in order for the spot to run during the Super Bowl.

"NBC claims it doesn't allow advocacy ads, but that's not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison," said Burch.

"The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama," said Burch. "We are now looking at alternative venues to run the ad over the next several weeks."

The ad aired on BET in Chicago on Inauguration Day. It has become an Internet hit with over 700,000 views in seven days. The ad was in the top 10 "most viewed" category on YouTube on Inauguration Day last week.

The ad reads: "This child's future is a broken home. He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him. Despite the hardships he will endure...this child...will become...the 1st African-American President." The ad concludes with the tagline, "Life: Imagine the Potential." The ad is the first of several ads in new campaign launched by

The ad can be viewed at -- a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy.

SOURCE Fidelis Center for Law & Policy

No comments: