CBS's Super Bowl Ad Rulings: Freedom of Speech or Anti-Gay?


Super Bowl Sunday should be a time for us to put aside our political differences and let our country only be divided by one simple issue: Saints or Colts. Not according to CBS. The network announced a few weeks ago that it would reverse its earlier policy and allow advocacy ads to air during the game, starting with Heisman-winning Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow's ad for the Christian pro-life group Focus on the Family. The ad reportedly features Tebow with his mother, talking about how she ignored medical advice to have an abortion while pregnant with him in the Philippines.

Eyebrows were raised, but they were raised even higher late last week when CBS rejected an ad for gay dating site ManCrunch. CBS claimed that the ManCrunch spot is "not within the network's Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday." It's not a well-produced ad—in fact, it's probably best for all parties involved if it doesn't air—but judge for yourself if you find it inappropriate for the Super Bowl.

To complicate matters—and raise sentiment that the network is anti-gay—CBS also denied another ad for Super Bowl regular featuring the overly-effeminate ex-NFL player "Lola." has never claimed to be an arbiter of good taste, but in this case, its strategy might be a bit more transparent: "Banned ads" often generate more PR buzz than the actual ads (think PETA's almost-naked vegans from last year, and CareerBuilder's fart-lighting spot this year). The real problem with CBS rejecting the ManCrunch and GoDaddy ads is the prevalence of anti-gay humor that naturally flows through the testosterone-fest like Bud Light. For example, this Snickers ad featuring two men "accidentally" kissing:

Bad taste? Double standard? Or are some "issues" more appropriate to address during a football game than others?

[The Daily Dish]

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  • B Novida

    One thing that bus me about the Tebow thing is that there are no LEGAL ABORTION CLINICS IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!! So she basically didnt have a choice! The Philippines is one of those backwards countries where the government and religion are so intertwined.