The Problems with the Super Bowl ManCrunch Ad Rejection February 1, 2010

The Problems with the Super Bowl ManCrunch Ad Rejection

CBS is still planning to air the Tim Tebow pro-life ad during the Super Bowl. We haven’t seen what this commercial will look like. (Though in an intriguing twist, lawyer Gloria Allred is claiming Tebow’s mom couldn’t have had an abortion even if she wanted to because such a procedure was illegal in the Philippines, anyway — in which case there could be grounds against CBS for airing misleading advertising.)

More recent news is that CBS rejected an ad for a gay dating website. ManCrunch.

Is that hypocrisy?

No. Not for this particular decision.

Here’s the “gay” ad in question:

That doesn’t look like a dating site. It looks like a hookup site. The slogan implies that, too (“Where many many many Men Come Out and Play”).

Not to mention it’s just a dumb ad on a bunch of levels. Queerty agrees:

… even the road signs behind them reek of stupid macho jokes:

a) NO ENTRY (like that dumb straight joke “my ass is ‘EXIT ONLY'”);

b) a stop sign pointing right between the two men (DON’T GO THERE, BOYS); and

c) a sign that reads “Caution: This equipment starts and stops automatically” with a brown cowboy cutout beside it. “Equipment” could equal “cock”, but maybe that’s a stretch.

Either way, the roadsigns evoke other manly things like driving and highway construction, adding to the butchness pervading the start of the commercial and feeding into the ad’s incredibly homophobic message. The ad’s subtext is that the mere touch of a man can turn gay even the most butch football fan, and that gays just can’t control themselves sex-wise — they’ll start humping each other anywhere — at a football game, in your living room, in front of your kids!!!

Not to mention the ad is just unrealistic — a Packers fan would never get it on with a Vikings fan — and if there’s one thing we know about Super Bowl ads, it’s that they’re all totally believable.

Let’s not use this ad in our case for CBS making a mistake when they accepted the Tebow ad.

We need to see a well-produced, non-controversial (at least superficially), pro-choice ad get rejected before we can claim hypocrisy.

For now, let’s just stick to the claim that CBS is accepting an ad that endorses a political viewpoint and that’s the real mistake. They need to accept or reject all such ads.

(Thanks to everyone for the links)

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  • DDM

    This really didn’t strike me as a Superbowl Comercial. Plain, non-funny, etc.

  • Matt

    What a self-hating, not-even-funny, totally racist (fried chicken for the black friend? the fuck!), down-low-esque commercial. Who thought this was a good idea?

  • Stan

    “We need to see a well-produced, non-controversial (at least superficially), pro-choice ad get rejected before we can claim hypocrisy.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • Casimir

    …lawyer Gloria Allred is claiming Tebow’s mom couldn’t have had an abortion even if she wanted to because such a procedure was illegal in the Philippines, anyway…

    Because we all know it’s completely impossible to get an illegal abortion.

  • Carlie

    Because we all know it’s completely impossible to get an illegal abortion

    Well, her doctor sure wouldn’t have been pushing one on her, since that would have gotten his license pulled.

  • It’s not impossible to get an illegal abortion, but chances are that a doctor isn’t going to recommend it!

    Of course, a lot of people are turning the Tebow commercial into a free speech issue. And I think it is hypocritical to accept one commercial on the grounds of free speech but not another one.

    Edit: Carlie, you beat me to it!

  • Greg

    I’m not saying I like the above ad – I don’t, I think it’s stupid, but isn’t it just satirising the anti-gay movement’s views?

    Being from the UK, I’m not all that au fait with the situation in the US, and various groups, but I find it hard to believe that a gay group would actually put an ad like this out with the idea of saying – ‘these are the kind of people we’re trying to attract to our site’. Rather it is saying:

    ‘Isn’t the stereotype of gays stupid? Are you sick of it? There’s nothing wrong with being gay, meet other gay people here.’

    Like I said, I don’t particularly like the ad – I just think some of the criticism is completely missing the point.

  • Claudia

    Fine, bad example. Here’s a better one:

    Also rejected for the superbowl. So damn positive and wholesome it almost makes me want to go to church.

    edit: though I distinctly remember reading about it in a superbowl

  • Claudia

    argg, damn edit time limits:

    As I was saying, I remember reading about it being rejected for the superbowl, but for the moment all I can find is links showing it being rejected outright for any timeslot because of the fleeting image of a gay couple. So its not about the sex, its the very act of showing gay people.

  • Teh GAY!! It’s CATCHING!!! It spreads via CHEETOS!

  • It’s true, the UCC commercial was banned a few years ago because CBS said they didn’t accept issue ads.

    Regardless of what you think of the quality of the ad, it’s not inappropriate, and in the context of the UCC ad decision, it IS a double standard.

  • MountainHumanist

    From Queerty: In December 2004, the television network CBS sent a letter to the United Church of Christ, explaining why a new ad campaign of inclusiveness — carrying the slogan “Jesus Didn’t Turn People Away. Neither Do We.” — was rejected for broadcast. CBS does not permit any ad that “touches on and/or takes a position on one side of a current controversial issue of public importance,” UCC leaders were told. So why, then, is the network now accepting an ad from Focus on the Family, which paid around $2.5 million for a pro-life ad featuring Univ. of Florida quarterback Tim Tebrow?

    Maybe because CBS is hard up for cash, and anyone willing to pay its rates for a 30-second spot is kosher to them. (Especially since the ad rates are down from last year’s estimated $3 million per 30 seconds, which NBC charged.)
    But this is more than a question of whether a network like CBS should approve or reject these types of ads. It’s whether they’ll stick to their own policies in the future. CBS told UCC at the time it had “a longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising.” That long-standing policy, it seems, has disappeared. (Given that we haven’t seen the FOTF ad, we’re going off what the group has said publicly about the spot, which indicates it will be very clearly pro-life.)
    And since CBS is willing to stampede all over its own self-imposed restrictions, it has us wondering whether CBS would accept an ad from the Human Rights Campaign promoting federal marriage equality. Alright, then would CBS accept a similar ad, from the National Organization for Marriage, arguing the exact opposite?
    Worth remembering in all this: Super Bowl ads are not about the spots themselves — which Madison Avenue considers ineffective on a dollar-for-dollar basis — but about generating publicity. And it’s clear that all the talk about this one ad is doing more for FOTF’s cause than the 30-second spot might manage.

    Read more:

  • Polly

    Because we all know it’s completely impossible to get an illegal abortion.

    Casimir beat me to it.

    It was perfectly legal in the U.S. at the time. If it were a matter of life and death, she could have easily come back, here.

    in which case there could be grounds against CBS for airing misleading advertising.

    LMAO! As we all know, everything else on TV is true.

  • mikespeir

    We really don’t believe in censorship. We’d just like for it to be so hard for people to offer an opinion we don’t agree with that they give up in frustration.

  • Joshua W.

    I don’t think that the ad is very good. It is very low brow, has pretty bad production, is not very clever, and is considered by some to be in bad taste. Larry Flynt fought very hard against people who tried to legislate taste. This, however, is not a free speech issue. CBS is not the government and can pretty much set their own standards for running whatever commercials they choose. Every year we are treated to commercials that many people view as being in bad taste (the Pepsi commercial with Bob Dole watching Britney Spears followed by the “explosion” of fireworks still haunts me). So what makes this commercial different? It is all the negative things that people have said about it AND it is gay. If all things were equal, we would sit through this commercial during the Super Bowl and just dismiss it as another poorly produced, lame ad the same way we do with poorly produced, lame ads that are overtly heterosexual. But in this case all things are NOT equal.

  • Richard Wade

    According to the first comment on Queerty, Mancrunch does not exist. Googling the word seems to only find news articles about the ad, but I have not found a site for the alleged organization itself.

    Ah. Correction. it does exist, at least as a site.

    Somehow the name sounds so unpleasant.

  • muggle

    “isn’t it just satirising the anti-gay movement’s views?”

    Not only did I take it that way too but I must be the only person here with absolutely no taste because I thought it was hilarious.

    Given Richard’s link above, I’m thinking they must have been poking fun of stereotypes. (Including the fried chicken thing mentioned above.) Notice the logo at the bottom of the site: putting the man back in romance. I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

    In any case, the look on their friend’s face was priceless. That actor was good.

  • grazatt

    How about an ad for guys just looking for a Bro? What could be more wholesome than that?

  • muggle

    “Somehow the name sounds so unpleasant.”

    Richard, I understand. I’m feeling much the same way about i-Pad. I guarantee you a woman did not come up with that name.

  • muggle

    grazatt, that was funny as hell!

  • AxeGrrl

    Here’s the point that no one’s mentioned yet…..

    the mancrunch peeps have already won ~ no, their ad won’t air, but hell, look at the amount of attention/publicity they’ve already received as a result of just submitting it!

    and for FREE!
    (a rep from Mancrunch was on Larry King tonight too)

    whether this is legit or not, when it comes to gaining attention/air-time, the guys behind this (no i didn’t intend that pun) have achieved their goal 🙂

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