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CBS to Advertiser: That Ad is So Gay! (Not That There's Anything Wrong withThat)

Friday, January 29, 2010 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 4:34 PM, under , , , ,

Darren Rovell has written that a CBS-rejected Super Bowl ad has the sponsoring company ( up in arms. A spokeswoman for the company, Elissa Buchter, says that the the rejection of the ad is because of a "gay issue that the network doesn’t want to touch."

From Darren Rovell's Blog:

Site spokesperson Elissa Buchter told CNBC that site officials were told that CBS was sold out of all its spots, as late as yesterday, even though that was not the case. “We’ve been unable to get a response since then,” Buchter said. “I think they’re just going to stall as long as they can so it doesn’t appear as if they are rejecting the ad.”

Buchter says she thinks it’s the gay issue that the network doesn’t want to touch.

“If it were a heterosexual couple or even two women, it probably would have gotten approved,” she said.

If CBS did indeed reject the ad because of the content, it might be said that this is at least a little bit hypocritical given the content of some of their prime-time shows that run in the family hour.

All the same, does anybody remember this hysterical Snickers ad from 2007 that ran during the Super Bowl?

At the time, as pointed out on the USA Today Faith & Reason blog, the ad prompted protests from offended gay viewers. The author of this blog post also says that there has been "No word from traditional conservative family advocates on why homophobic ads would be all right for the family audience."

Of course the tables are now turned, and gay-advocacy groups are crying foul, despite one part of the new commercial that might be interpreted as homophobic. And to be honest, I find the ManCrunch ad less offensive because they have the decency to not show tongue!

As a parent, I have mixed feelings as my children are now a few years older than when I wrote this in a post on "The Business Controls Caddy" entitled "TV Ratings Should Be Based on Content of Entire Time Block", but I still believe parents do need some sort of ratings/guidance so they/we can be prepared:

...there is a small problem in this thinking: the ratings only apply to the content of a show's content, not to any advertisements or network promotions that air during the show. I had to deal with this last week on the USA Network when the kids were trying to watch the family movie "Elf". Every time the commercials came on, I had to scramble for the remote control because the USA Network would choose to run promos for some crime show, and the ads would discuss graphic sex and rape. This is just what every parent wants to see during a family movie. This has long been a problem with televised sports, especially when the down and distance marker placed on the field would be sponsored by "The Purple Pill". Other times you would have Jim Nantz, on CBS Sports golf coverage (except for The Masters), reading some promo filled with references to sex, drugs or violence. Never mind that the on-screen rating for the event would be TV-G.

But last night, the line was truly crossed for this parent. I was sitting with my youngest daughter watching the TV-G rated "Planet Earth" on the Discovery Channel. When the ads came on, I was mostly nonchalant, until the ad for Levitra, with its full on description of male sexual disorders and erectile dysfunction came on the air. At first shocked that this was airing on a family time, educational show on the Discovery Channel, once again I quickly reached for the remote. I have since come to expect such things on the USA Network, the broadcast networks, and others. I would never have expected this from The Discovery Channel.

So here is the new commercial, followed by a poll asking you what you think.

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