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Only Conservatives Allowed to Run Advocacy Ads During the Superbowl

Two years ago, CBS refused to run ads created by during the Superbowl, claiming that “the spot violated the network’s policy against running issue advocacy advertising”. They also refused to run an ad from PETA, the animal rights group, because they do not accept advertisements on “controversial issues of public importance.” This year CBS refused to run an ad during the Superbowl from Gay dating site, saying that it did not meet their standards.

But somehow, all that isn’t stopping CBS from running an ad during this year’s Superbowl from Focus on the Family, a conservative media ministry. Remember them? Among other things, they were the group that asked people to pray for rain to start exactly two minutes before Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic national convention back in August 2008, because they wanted the next president to be against abortion and gays (mysteriously, Obama’s speech had perfect weather, while the Republican convention had Hurricane Gustav).

© Joel Pett

UPDATE: Richard Dawkins weighs in on the ad being run by Focus on the Family, which features football star Tim Tebow.



  1. Chris wrote:

    Hmm, I remember CBS banning the ads. What happened after that? I assume the case went to court, and on up to the Supreme Court, where (consistent with its recent corporate “free speech” ruling), Justice Roberts and co. must have decided CBS’s decision was unconstitutional. Yes?

    Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  2. Sammy wrote:

    If I were to guess as to why their tone/tune has changed, I’d say it’s a pretty simple case of economics. A 30-second spot for the ’09 Super Bowl cost an advertiser $3 million. This year that same spot runs for about 10% less, and not all spots have been filled.

    At least we can’t blame the “liberal” media, right?

    Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Sorry, that doesn’t explain why they didn’t accept the ad from Mancrunch — that was this year.

    Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Sammy wrote:

    Oh, you are right. I had heard that and forgotten!

    Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink