Thursday, January 29, 2009

NBC Rejects Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

I just received the following email from Fidelis:
Source: Fidelis Center for Law & Policy
January 29, 2009

NBC Sacks Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad
Network Nixes Commercial Celebrating Potential of Life

NBC has rejected an uplifting and positive pro-life ad submitted for its Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told late yesterday that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political advocacy or issues.’

Brian Burch, President of reacted: “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. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life.”

“NBC told that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements. But that’s not what they told PETA,” said Burch. “There’s no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group. NBC rejected PETA’s ad for another reason altogether.”

According to an email posted on, Victoria Morgan, Vice President of Advertising Standards for Universal, said: “The PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” Morgan even detailed “edits that need to be made” in order for the spot to run during the Super Bowl.

“NBC claims it doesn’t allow advocacy ads, but that’s not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison,” said Burch.

“The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama,” said Burch. “We are now looking at alternative venues to run the ad over the next several weeks.”

The ad aired on BET in Chicago on Inauguration Day. It has become an Internet hit with over 700,000 views in seven days. The ad was in the top 10 ‘most viewed’ category on YouTube on Inauguration Day last week.

The ad reads: “This child’s future is a broken home. He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him. Despite the hardships he will endure…this child…will become…the 1st African-American President.” The ad concludes with the tagline, “Life: Imagine the Potential.” The ad is the first of several ads in new campaign launched by

The ad can be viewed at - a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy.
My Comments:
I'm wondering if this might not be the REAL problem with the ad:
... Either way, the pro-life ad already has won over some hearts at NBC.

“Meanwhile, I’ve been in conversations with NBC,” Burch said. “We have a package slotted. And the key was whether they would even run it in the first place. When I first talked to NBC it went through legal in Chicago and then went up to legal in New York.

“When I first told them it was an abortion ad, they freaked. Typically abortion ads are things that cause a lot of problems for them, especially because a lot of them are very provocative and in your face.

“So while I was on the phone I said, ‘You need to watch our ad right now because I don’t want to waste more time with you if you’re not going to run it.’ They watched the ad, and a person who is involved with Super Bowl ads with NBC said, ‘I’m neither pro-life nor pro-choice, but this is the best pro-life ad I’ve ever seen.’

“She said, ‘I think this is really good.’ And this was the whole point of the ad in the first place, to not be in your face, to drive our message in conjunction with the momentum over Barack Obama’s inauguration
(emphasis added)

Perhaps the ad is too effective.

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At 1/29/2009 5:28 PM, Anonymous nathan said...

Send your complaints about the rejection of the ad to Victoria Morgan, Vice President, Advertising Standards, NBC Universal, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 1825 E. New York, NY 10112. Call (212) 664-4267 or fax (212) 664-6366 or email
Come folks, take a minute to send an email. Be heard


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