NBC: Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad is ‘Political,’ PETA Ad is Not

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><font size="3">NBC won’t accept “issue advocacy” commercials for its Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday, February 1. Apparently, the network that “</font><a href="http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20081112134215.aspx"><font size="3" color="#800080">went green</font></a><font size="3">” for an entire week last fall, and that did an </font><a href="http://businessandmedia.org/articles/2007/20071102170522.aspx"><font size="3" color="#800080">environmental stunt on a football show</font></a><font size="3"> the year before, wants to stay away from politics. Or maybe just some politics. </font></p><p><font size="3">NBC has rejected an ad sponsored by the <span style="color: black">Catholic group Fidelis “after days of negotiation,” according to an article on <a href="http://www.lifenews.com/nat4801.html">LifeNews.com</a>. The ad, which can be seen at the LifeNews site or on Fidelis’ <a href="http://www.catholicvote.com/">Web site</a>, shows an ultrasound image of a fetus while it tells of the hardships the child will face in life, only to become the first black <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">U.S.</st1:place></st1:country-region> president, Barack Obama. As Fidelis President Brian Burch told LifeNews, “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years.&quot;</span></font></p><font size="3"><span style="color: black"></span></font><span style="color: black"><font size="3">NBC’s claim that it demurs from issue advertising rings particularly false in light of its recent rejection of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ad. The </font><a href="http://www.peta.org/content/standalone/VeggieLove/Default.aspx"><font size="3">PETA ad</font></a><font size="3">, said the network, “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” It was rejected as being to sexually suggestive, not because of its clear advocacy. And LifeNews reported that NBC had suggested edits to make the PETA spot acceptable. <o:p></o:p></font></span><span style="color: black"><o:p><font size="3"> </font></o:p></span><!--break-->

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture