Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad Gets Scrapped

Cardinals' and Steelers' fans aren't the only ones bickering over Super Bowl XLIII. Strangely, NBC executives and Catholic activists are too. After several days of deliberations, NBC executives told that the network had decided not to run the web site's pro-life commercial because the network and NFL "are not interested" in advertisements regarding political issues. According to an article by the National Catholic Register,  "the 30-second ad has no graphic content nor even any direct references to abortion." The commercial is embedded above for you to decide if you agree.

Regardless, it should be painfully apparent to the rest of the world who has seen many politically-motivated Super Bowl ads over the years--including those from the overtly-political group PETA--that this decision exhibits a gross double standard by the network. I am normally not one to scream and holler about media bias (for reasons I may discuss later in another post), but this is obviously unfair. Tisk, tisk, NBC. 

Your thoughts? 


Anonymous said...

I probably wouldn't use the phrase tisk, tisk....but, I agree with you on this one Jonathan.

And in fact, before I got to it in your post, I was thinking ...but what about PETA?? And you, very astutely mentioned their adds within the political spectrum of NBC and the NFL.

And how can they say that the NFL and NBC aren't politically driven...I mean - it's mainly tax money that actually funds most of the NFL cathedrals in our country.

Anonymous said...

Brian Burch, president of the was upset that NBC officials rejected the uplifting positive message in the ad saying "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."

Common Sense Media did a study of ads during NFL football games and found out 1 out of every 6 commercials shown contained messages and images that were inappropriate for young kids. 40% of the games included advertisements for erectile-dysfunction drugs (Viagra® and Cialis®). More than 500 of the ads involved significant levels of violence, including gun fights, explosions and murders. 300 of the ads were for alcohol. 80 of the ads included significant levels of sexuality, including scenes about prostitution and strippers. Nearly half (44.7%) of the violent and sexual ads were promotions by the networks for their own programs.

All of the above gets the OK from NBC but an ad honoring and celebrating the first African American President and the incredible potential of each unborn human life is unacceptable.

You can send your complaints about the rejection of the ad to Victoria Morgan, Vice President, Advertising Standards, NBC Universal, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 1825 E. New York, NY 10112. Call (212) 664-4267 or fax (212) 664-6366 or email

Chase said...

Surely you aren't surprised!? The point about PETA is a good one, but this year it doesn't apply b/c even PETA's ad was rejected (a little too risque).

As to fairness, it's NBC's call to make which ads they do and don't accept. I don't like the their decision to reject the ad, but I don't consider it unfair b/c NBC is a private entity with the right to accept/reject as it pleases (within the bounds of the FCC and other laws/regs). Injecting "fairness" implies there is some standard that NBC has violated, which to my knowledge, it has not. I think their decision is weak and gutless with a significant influence of ideology, but I won't accuse NBC of being unfair.

Jonathan Merritt said...


Good points. Remember that PETA's ad was scrapped because it was too risque, not because it was a political organization. Perhaps "unfair" isn't the bext characterization. Inconsistent perhaps.


Stuart Homeskillet McGillicutty said...

You go daddy!