Good overview on the trouble CBS finds itself in after agreeing to run an anti-abortion ad but refusing to air an ad from a gay Web site during the Super Bowl:
By agreeing to show an “uplifting” antiabortion ad and rejecting a Super Bowl-style ad (read: funny) for a gay dating site, CBS is already feeling the effects of its decision to air “advocacy” ads for the first time on Super Sunday.
Working in a tough advertising climate, CBS surprised many Americans by explaining a new policy on advocacy ads after news emerged that it had agreed to show an antiabortion ad featuring Florida QB Tim Tebow and his mom, Pam.
That decision caused an uproar over the ad itself, the sponsor (the conservative organization Focus on the Family), and the prospect of politics seeping into a three-hour block where most Americans are trying to escape from the daily grind.
There are some extenuating circumstances — namely that the Web site may not really have the $2.6 million it costs to run the ad and therefore was really just engaging in a (rather successful) PR stunt.
That said, I’ve yet to read a good explanation for why the anti-abortion ad is OK while the gay ad is improper. Both will be highly offensive to some viewers and both advocate a position on a pretty volatile issue for many people. CBS appears to have opened up quite a can of worms by revising their standards — and I’m unsure how they’re going to enforce their policy without being arbitrary or capricious.
And, by the way, I’m referring to the “Big Game” as the Super Bowl. Come and sue me, NFL.