Rejected Super Bowl ads: What's too racy for TV? (videos)

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Rejected Super Bowl ads: What's too racy for TV? (videos)

Mon Feb 01, 2010 @ 10:51AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

UPDATED: What's a better value: spending $3 million plus production costs to air a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl or saving that $3 million when standards and practices lawyers at CBS reject the ad and everyone talks about the commercial anyway?

We're sensing that this year's most effective use of "ambush marketing" once again involves submitting an ad that's too racy for television. Ever since CBS raised eyebrows for its decision to run a pro-life commercial starring Tim Tebow, all those commercials not making the cut have been getting a good amount of buzz. At this rate, networks that televise the Super Bowl in the future may need to impose greater application fees and deposits so advertisers don't abuse the process to score cheap publicity.

Here are some of the ads that have been rejected this year by CBS:
  • An ad for gay-dating website Mancrunch. The rejection by CBS Standards and Practices has raised some concern over whether CBS cares too much about homosexuality, but we can't say we're too impressed with the thought and production put into this spot. Did Mancrunch really intend to run this commercial?

  • An ad for domain registration Web site Go Daddy. Company CEO Bob Parsons says he was told by the network the ad was rejected because it could be "offensive to a certain class of people." Go Daddy has successfully aired racy spots during past Super Bowls, and the production of this "Lola" commercial starring Danica Patrick isn't shabby, so both parties may have been sincere.

Picture 16 
  • UPDATED: An ad for an upcoming video game "Dante's Inferno," by Electronic Arts. CBS determined the "Go to hell" tag line was too provocative even though a similar commercial has already been airing. Instead, EA has changed its tag line to "Hell awaits" to pass muster. Here's a "Dante's Inferno" trailer with the original tagline and the squeaky-clean ad that will run during the Super Bowl:

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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