Monday, February 1, 2010

Superbowl Advertising

Concerning the SuperBowl, people tend to pay just as much attention to the commercials as the actual game. Two potential commercials are causing quite a stir this year. One ad, promoting a gay dating site was rejected by CBS, citing that the network didn't feel it was appropriate for family viewing. Here's the ad that was rejected.

Given the racy "Go Daddy" commercials and other commercials in the past that have seemed racy, do you think CBS made the right decision in rejecting this ad?

Secondly, CBS is reversing its own past policy of rejecting advocacy commercials, ads paid for by organizations not selling a product but rather promoting a view on a particular issue. Focus on the Family created an anti-abortion commercial, starring Tim Tebow and his mother. My question is the following: if the Superbowl will now have advocacy ads, should all groups have an equal shot at getting airtime? For example, The United Church of Christ was turned down by CBS in 2004 when it wanted to air a Super Bowl ad that celebrated diversity and welcomed gay and lesbian Christians to the denomination. If the church tried to re-air the commercial now, given CBS's recent decision, should it be given air-time?


Renotta Jones said...

I think CBS made the right decision in rejecting this ad. Neither commercial ad is appropriate for family viewing. A family consists of children sometime, therefore, these ads are very inappropriate for the children to watch.

On the other hand, I think CBS did not make the right decision in rejecting the ad because if would cause the controversy in allowing ads from the past advertise. The commercials are very racy giving that they suggest to children that its suitable to do these things.

I do not think past commercials should have the opportunity to be re-air considering that CBS enforced a policy in 2004. Now that they have decided to change that policy, each person should follow that policy. Policies and procedures change all the time. We have to follow them as they are changed.

Zack Harrington said...

Without question CBS is expressing favoritism towards certain agendas being pushed in their commercial spots. For example, accepting the Tebow commerical and denying the website commercial. Personally, I believe CBS made the proper choices, but my opinion is irrelevant. CBS should not allow any agendas to be pushed such as abortion, gay rights, religion, etc. These issues are always controversial based on individual preferences, and they can overshadow an event like the SuperBowl. I mean come on, the Saints and Who Dat Nation are getting ready to play the biggest game in franchise history and our news stations can only talk about the controversy in potential commercials. The media has already given the anti-abortionist and gay rights activist the exposure they wanted; I can assure them that no one wants to see or hear these commercials on gameday.

Based on the reversal of its own past policy in rejecting advocacy commercials, I would assume CBS would be liable to accept The United Church of Christ ad. To express my point further, CBS would not have to worry about accepting this ad if they would just deny all agendas.

Tanya Mathews said...

Advertisements should have a particular guideline in promoting products. , such as a tangible product that a consumer can purchase. CBS made the right choice as this type of advertisement promotes a personal agenda of choice. The Super Bowl is watched by all age groups including those that are not old enough to make personal choice decisions. This is why each state has age of consent laws in place. Viewing this type of advertisement can cause confusion in young children. As adults, we can make the choice of viewing the advertisement and filing it away in the back of our mind. Adults have choices while young children are still being guided and taught the values and principles from their parents and family.

Anita Griffin said...


I definitely think CBS made the right decision in rejecting this ad. I personally do not have anything against gays; I just feel that this ad would be inappropriate. The Superbowl will be watched by millions of families, especially young viewers; so therefore, it would not be in the best interest of anyone to show such an advertisement.
I know this can be a controversial topic. As far as CBS rejecting ads from the past, I can not say what they should do about that. I guess in all fairness, if they rejected it then, then maybe they should not reverse their decision.

Ken Holm said...

These questions, I believe, deals more with treating all "customers" equally. I would suggest that it depends from which angle you're coming. I suspect there are some legal guidelines that dictate what CBS may or may not do. If CBS is not bound by law to give equal consideration to each advertiser, then their decision is justified. If, however, they have run afoul of the law, I am certain they will pay some price in the courts.

We could look at this from financial perspective. Assuming the going rate for a thirty second commercial during the Super Bowl is one million dollars, you would think that all comers were welcome. If an advertiser was willing to pay the requisite million, I see no (financial) reason to reject any advertisement. That is unless that advertisement would damage CBS more than the money would benefit.

So, if a given advertiser has the financial wherewithal to put forward a commercial, and CBS is within their legal rights to reject any given commercial out of hand, I believe the folks at CBS should be allowed to choose their customers as they see fit. It is analogous to the "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" rule we are all familiar with. If you do not meet a certain standard that we, as the proprietor, set forth, your business is unwelcome.

Ostensibly, businesses are business to make money. CBS, being a business, should be allowed to choose their clientele based on their standards. Ultimately, their business will either boom or bust based on their decisions.

A final word, I think CBS is looking at this from a purely financial perspective. If they believed having homosexual-centric commercials would benefit their company in the long run, I do not doubt for an instant that they would move in that direction.

Taryn Holland said...

In my opinion, these commercials do not need to be aired for children to watch. But, when it comes down to it, it is not my opinion that matters.

If CBS is wanting to have a wide variety of different viewers then they might need to air whatever coems there way as long as it isn't too terrible. A commercial that promotes a gay dating site, is something that can be shown to different viewers. This does celebrate different diversities. The moment CBS chooses sides they lose a fan base.

Ultimately, CBS needs to decide whether they are more concerned with the fan base or their beliefs. The moment they figure things out for good, then they will be able to stand by it.

Paul Miller said...

In my opinion, CBS made the right decision in not airing the ad. Like so many advertisements, this one has to use sex to pedal their service. The super bowl will be viewed by children. I feel there should be some standards to advertising when there is a possibility of a large number of children watching. Sure the super bowl is a money making event, but it is a family event as well. But if CBS does air other ads that are overtly sexual in this super bowl, I feel that this dating service has a right to be upset.
I personally feel that CBS should not have reversed its policy of rejecting advocacy ads. All it will do is set up a PR nightmare for CBS. But if they are going to show one type of advocacy group, they should show them all. It is only fair.

Vanessa Collier said...

I definitely think CBS made the right decision rejecting this commercial. There are many children that watch the superbowl and they should not be exposed to this type of behavior. I know that I do not want my three children to be exposed to this. I do not believe it sends a postive message to the children watching. This is not something they should be learning about on television. I do not believe it's appropriate or suitable for children.

The decision CBS made to reverse its own past policy of rejecting advocacy ads may have been a mistake. However, I do not think that every group should have the same rights as other groups. An example is the Tim Tebow commerical. This commercial is promoting life and family values as well as love that families share with each addition to it. I do not think promoting gay relationships or sex is even in the same neighborhood as the Tebow commercial.

Chris Stallworth said...

I agree with the decision made by CBS to reject the ad promoting the gay dating site. The content of the ad is inappropriate for children, and since the ad would have been running during a time that children could be watching the television it might offend some viewers.
There are many racy ads on television today, not just on Cable or Satellite but on local networks as well. "Go Daddy" for example definitely pushes the envelop of what is acceptable. Other companies come to mind also, Levis, Axe, etc. But, in my opinion their ads, while displaying racy content, do not specifically show interaction between two people that is widely believed to be inappropriate. They USUALLY just hint around it to make the commercial more memorable to sell a product or service. If you do comparison of ads on television and even in magazines today with those of ten years ago, you would notice a major paradigm shift in the realm of what is acceptable advertisement. The change is even more drastic if you look back 25 years, or 35, and so on. So, what we see as unacceptable today, could very well be common place in the near future.
CBS's decision to allow advocacy commercials will open the doors for many organization to express their views. I think there should be some discretion as to what should be allowed to be aired. Especially during an event like the Super Bowl where millions of viewers including children are watching the television. Let's face it, while topics like gay rights, religion, and anti-abortion are issues of importance, having them unwillingly broadcasts in your living room potentially with your children sitting there is a problem and could force the parents to introduce their children to issues they are not prepared to handle. That being said, I do not think the commercials should be given air-time.

noelle carlin said...

I am a somewhat conservative, therefore I do not support nor deny homosexuality. I believe as long as someone who is into the same sex does not touch me, I do not care what they do as long as they are safe. When it comes to CBS, they are a conservative station from what all I have found on them and that is why they denied the church a little while ago and why they denied this one air time. As I stated before, I do not support nor deny a person's sexual preference, and since it is the United States of America people have that right to be. With the views of the very conservatives now a days, the homosexual communities cannot promote anything dealing with sexual preference that others may have problems with.

As for the commercials, if the church tried to post that commercial again, it would most likely be shot down again, just like this one will. The super bowl is watched by all ages, like CBS stated, however putting a women in a sexy outfit and getting her to sell something is just as bad as two men making out. Both promote sexual content, that at least one area of the population should not watch, children. Also, some women do not want to see the "Go Daddy" type commercials just like most men do not want to see two men making out at a football party. I feel as if nothing of sexual content should be shown during the super bowl, not only for the children's sake but also to make all viewers happy. Although in the industry these days, they bring the saying "Sex Sells" to a whole new low.

Brandy Stuart said...

CBS is a family viewed station. I feel that CBS did make the right choice on rejecting the ad and any other ad that has racy, or other images of life that is not suitable for children. In this case the superbowl is and will be a family and friend celabration.
However, if CBS does revise their advocacy ad policy is should be equal for everyone if it is appropret fot the viewers, regardless if religion, race, or age. Although I see the point on both sides but CBS is an organization that needs viewers. If they go changing advocacy for ads policy and allow these commericals to be shown daily I firmly belive that they will lose alot of family viewers.

However on gameday with this Superbowl making history, I asked what my husband what he thought about this and as he said who wants to see commercial anyway. Thats when I will be refilling my plate full of food and my glass of coke. I would have to say this is what has happened in the past.
Good Luck Saints... WHO DAT!!!

Alvin McKinley said...

I agree with the CBS decision to reject the ad. Some commercials are just simply inappropriate regardless how unique they are. Superbowl attracts a very large number of population and most families watch it with their kids. So that kind of exposure is undesired. I do not think that CBS is willing to go against the majority of conservative population.

TV has a great power of suggestion therefore advocacy commercials should not be allowed. Often times kids accept the opinion as a fact and that prevents them from forming opinions on their own. Reversing policies by CBS is just an indication of their attitude.
I would rather prefer CBS to be consistent in their decisions.

Lucky said...

I am glad that CBS is not showing the advertisement. I hate it when a TV Channel has an event that is supposed to be a family oriented, and then they show ads that are not appropriate for children.

I do not care about the message of the ad, if children have to leave the room in a commercial break, then the ad should not be played.
I am glad of the revision made by CBS. However, if the ad is not appropriate for all the viewing audience, then it should not be allowed. Even if the ad is for a conservative or liberal group, it should not matter.

Laura said...

I realize that the superbowl game day is viewed by billions of viewers but it is not the time for agendas such as gay rights, religion, ect. to be viewed. I believe that CBS made the right decision in rejecting this ad because children will be viewing the game. My opinion is that each family should teach their children themselves concerning sexual issues. I do not want my children especialy my four year old viewing that commercial. As far as policies go, I agree with someone else that posted that polices change all the time. Go with the flow of the changes.

Angela Doles said...

Whether or not I think the commercial is appropriate or not doesn’t matter, since I’m only one in a million that view CBS. If a company or group purchases airtime from CBS, NBC, etc. it’s left up to their advertising department to make the ads and what they want to include in them. I do believe the federal government should have regulations on what is aired and when. This ad would cause a lot of mixed feelings for children that will be watching the super bowl with their parents and the parents would be left trying to explain the ad. An ad like this should not be aired during the time a child would be watching television. My own personal opinion is I’m glad this ad did not air and I do not believe tv commercials like this should aired at all. I think tv commercials should be for products that you can actually purchase and not for ideas. I would love to see commercials supporting family values more, but when you allow these types of commercials you have to allow all ideas of family. I think CBS did make the right decision not airing the ad.

Jack Elliott III said...

According to the way the things have been dealt with in the past I would say that yes this ad should be played on during the super bowl. However, I am glad that CBS rejected the ad because I personally do not agree with the ad. But since everyone in the world we live in is all about being politically correct, and not playing favoritism I would say that this ad should be given a chance to be played on the air. Today's society wants to be fair and balanced, which is good, but to what extent are we being fair and balanced. It seems like we are being pushed around by the smallest percent of Americans because most people don't believe the same things that they do. Our country's founding doctrines are being attacked because they have Christian beliefs written into them, which I believe they should be left alone.

Having said that I do not personally believe that those ads should be played because they will not accomplish anything. Go Daddy commercials are made to sell the name Go Daddy, and using beautiful women sells their ads. Commercials like the one that was rejected by the CBS will only enrage most Americans and possibly hurt CBS's ratings. Most people do not want to see that and CBS, like many other industries knows that, so they simply will not air just for the fact that they do not want to loose money.

Sandy said...

In my opinion, CBS made the right decision to reject the ad that promoted the gay website. Furthermore, all future ads regarding personal views should be rejected as well. I believe that the Superbowl is a time for family gatherings and the enjoyment of watching the game. I realize that sex does sell and if you think about it, we all see commercials on a daily basis that contradict each of our own beliefs. However, since the Superbowl does attract many people from several different backgrounds, CBS should just stick to the similar comical commercials that have been shown in the past. Also, CBS should always take into consideration that such commercials may not be appropriate for the younger generations. Additionally, airing these types of commercials would not be fair to those of us who are against certain views.

Secondly, I do not believe that CBS should have rejected the past policy. However, the policy should have remained the same. While I am for and against certain issues, I feel that these views should be expressed at the appropriate time and not during the Superbowl. Since I am a mother of two young boys who will be watching the Superbowl, I want them to experience the enjoyment of watching a game and not being forced to view things that are against our family beliefs. In other words, their father and I will assist them in taking on the values of our family and I do not need CBS or any other televised program to do so.

Jessica Williams said...

Jessica Williams
In CBS's shoes they don't seem as if they are equally giving opportunities to all opinions or life styles in this instance. This is alot like last weeks blog being that many americans see the gay dating site as gross and wrong. If they are going to let sites such as Go Daddy on the the program they should have to lean the other way to make the program equal to all consumers.

If the network is going to allow the anti-abortion adds on the super bowl there should be no reasoning behind the church not being allowed to place an ad on the program. If they are going to allow such a strong stance to be promoted on the program how could they justify not allowing a church to promote diversity and acceptance. This again in a conservative point of view being more accepted than a liberal.

Mary Catherine Carmichael said...

I absolutely believe that that commercial should not have been shown during the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl commercials should be family friendly; likewise I also think that the half-time entertainment sould be family friendly. Children should not be exposed to those types of things on televsion. These types of things should be discussed as a family with all the facts presented.

I am glad that CBS finally stood up and did the right thing.

Melvin Hayes said...

Yes, I think CBS made the right decision in rejecting the gay dating site ad. The gay community is not the majority and if they had aired this ad, CBS would have risked loosing a lot of their loyal viewers. Many of the viewers would not have considered it appropriate, and with everything going back to dollar signs, this would have affected their bottom line in the end. I think the decision was more of a business decision than one that was related to moral and values. I believe that CBS would produce whatever types of ads that can keep a consistent cash flow coming in and not negatively affect ratings. Even with the Go Daddy ads being racy, the behavior still deals with man/woman interactions. Man/man interactions would cause too many problems for the average family.

It’s hard to say whether all groups should be given an equal shot at airtimes. I do believe that is the fair thing to do, but it does not always make good business sense. Hypothetically, if a network makes $100 million dollars per year and a group is willing to pay $1 million dollars for an ad, that sounds nice. But if airing that ad will cost the network $50 million in revenue, then it just doesn’t make sense from a financial standpoint. In that particular case, I don’t believe that all groups should have equal shots at airtime.

Emily West said...

I feel that CBS made the right decision by not allowing this ad to air. I agree with the network's statement that this ad is not appropriate at all for family viewing. However, there are other ads that were aired, such as the Go Daddy commercials, that are just as inappropriate for family viewing in my opinion. So, how do they make the decision of what is appropriate and what isn't?

I feel that if the Superbowl was not such a family oriented viewing, then sure let all of the different ads be viewed. However, this is not the case. I also don't think it would be fair for past rejected commercials to be given the chance to "reair." I don't personally have children, but I know that I would not want them to see these type of ads on television. Their minds are curious enough as it is.

Sandra Perkins said...

Absolutely, I think CBS made the right decision to reject this commercial ad. I think they should leave the display of “certain” affection of WHOMEVER AWAY from children. I have to be the voice for my children. And, there are times I have to be the eyes and ears for my children. So when I see a commercial like that on television, I have to act quickly and inform them of what’s appropriate or inappropriate for them to watch. CBS should have thought about who will be tuning in to watch the Superbowl. In my opinion, some ideas should stay just that – Ideas!

In all fairness, if they open the door for one, it should be opened for all, but we all know that’s not the case. It depends on who you are and what side of the issue you are on. There will always be hot button issues such as abortion, homosexuality, religion and politics from now until doomsday, and everybody has the right to be heard. But just because a person speaks on a particular issue does not mean that there will be agreement all around.

E. McGraw said...

I believe that CBS made the right decision in not displaying this ad. The ad was very inappropriate for younger viewers to view. They have to be very careful of what they put out on t.v. This can be very upsetting to the parent that have young children. I know that I would be upset, if my kids would have seen such graphics on t.v.