2010 Super Bowl Ad Controversies

February 1st, 2010

It seems that every year some spots are banned from the Super Bowl. But this year, CBS and the Super Bowl – which drew more than 95 million viewers in 2009 – is kicking up major political dust by allowing an anti-abortion advocacy ad in the national broadcast, nixing a spot for a gay dating service, and barring a spot featuring an effeminate ex-football player who follows his dreams as Lola, the lingerie designer.

Some believe CBS has gone too far to the political right in determining what can or can not air, while others dismiss much of the controversy as merely viral stunts that have become part and parcel of the carnival.

First it was Tebow, then ManCrunch and then GoDaddy.

The first religious-political ad CBS has approved to air in the entire history of the Super Bowl hails from the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family and is a pro-life spot featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother. Some women’s groups are pressuring CBS to scrap the ad.

A ManCrunch spot for the dating site catering to gay men has been officially nixed by CBS.  In the commercial, two football fans are watching a game when their hands touch in a bowl of chips. Making out then ensues.

GoDaddy, which has a history of banned spots, like the 2005 wardrobe malfunction, got another rejection this year. The banned GoDaddy ad features a retired football player, “Lola”, a big, flamboyant, effeminate, lovable man, who embarks on a successful career as a lingerie designer.

Considering they lifted a ban on so-called controversial ads in order to let in the advocacy spot with Tebow, CBS is likely to take a lot of heat from multiple groups for decisions that are perceived by some as homophobic. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization, GLAAD, is speaking out against CBS’s decision to deny running the ManCrunch ad.

Here’s the 2010 SuperBowl commercial lineup.

UPDATE: 6pm Monday — another day another banned spot. KGB said “This ad is in keeping with the provocative, edgy ads KGB has made since we introduced the KGB text product last year,” it tested strong and was the logical choice.  Others pundits say it’s a stunt for attention knowing that  the “head-up-the-ass”  would not clear the censors.  You be the judge.