CBS fumbles with rejection of two gay ads during Superbowl, yet accepts conservative group's ad [video]

Posted by JD Uy
January 31, 2010 5:36 AM |

''CBS Standards and Practices has reviewed your proposed Super Bowl ad and concluded that the creative is not within the Network's Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday.... Moreover, our Sales Department has had difficulty verifying your organization's credit status.''

Contents of a rejection letter from CBS, the TV network hosting this year's broadcast of the Superbowl. Controversy has been brewing all week about whether CBS would accept an ad from ManCrunch, a gay dating web site, and the final decision is a big fat "No." The ad features two men watching football on TV, cheering, then reaching into a bowl of chips where their hands touch. They look at one another, then embrace and kiss passionately. A song plays and a singer croons, "I really want to kiss this guy!" A logo and tagline appear: "ManCrunch, Where many many men Come Out and Play." At the end, a third man in the room looks at the pair with a rather stunned expression. Not particularly groundbreaking, offensive, or controversial -- except, CBS apparently feels the need to protect America from the sight of two men exchanging physical interest in one another during the year's most-watched program.

Even worse is CBS' decision to accept a "pro-life" ad from Focus on the Family, the ultra-conservative lobbying group that is among the most powerful, anti-gay political organizations in the nation. Their ad, it is reported, will center on a thinly veiled anti-abortion message through the use of quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother. It is alleged that she opted to carry out her son's  pregnancy despite medical advice to the contrary.

Acceptance of the anti-abortion ad and rejection of the pro-gay dating ad has really blown up on the internet this weekend because of the network's double standard. Ads dealing with controversial issues have been rejected in the past, but the message CBS seems to be sending out is certainly a jarring contrast: Heterosexual baby-making sex is good, but gay relationship sex is bad, offensive and unacceptable. For ManCrunch, though, the public discourse over the matter will probably be a winner in the long run. The little known company is getting heaps of free exposure.

A third ad, from web hosting company GoDaddy, called "Lola," was also rejected. It features an fictional football player who retired and became a rich, swishy fashion icon by pursuing his dream business with a website of his own. The inferrence is that Lola is a gay man.

''CBS has a problem when they do something like this at the same time as they allow an anti-gay group like Focus on the Family to place ads during the Super Bowl. This network should come clean to the public about what's going on because this seems to be a homophobic double standard.''

Jarret Barrios of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on the controversy surrounding the rejection of a gay dating website's ad that should have run during this Sunday's Superbowl broadcast. (USA Today)

''Our dating [site obviously] targets gay men.The reason we chose the Super Bowl is that it has an audience of 90 million. It's primarily a male driven audience. We did budget in our overall marketing campaign for a Super Bowl ad. It made good marketing sense to reach that many men at one time. It's the only advertising venue to reach that many men. For us, we're getting more bang for our buck.''

Dominic Friesen, spokesperson for ManCrunch, a gay dating web site from Toronto, Canada whose football-themed ad has been rejected by CBS broadcasting network. The nearly $3 million spot was to air during the Superbowl's half-time period, but CBS determined that the ad did not meet their standards without explaining what those standards are. Here, Friesen tells gay media blog AfterElton, that he sees the decision as anti-gay discrimination and that their start-up company does have that much money to spend. (

''From everything I can tell, 'gay dating site' is quite the misnomer - perhaps, 'closeted hook up site' is more fitting. No one seems to actually know anything about this site. It doesn't appear to be targeting openly gay men, its website says it is for men on the 'down low.' Great. Not only does it make people less inclined to vote for LGBT equality, it also encourages people to not live openly and honestly about being gay.''

Adam Amel Rogers of, reacting negatively to the the content of all the ads in question including the ad from ManCrunch which he describes as ''two straight guys fake kissing while their friend freaks out,'' and a waste of time getting bothered about. (

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