The Super Bowl is the most-watched television program in America. It draws an average audience of 106.5 million viewers. 50 percent of viewers keep the volume up during its renowned commercials, and 15 percent of viewers tune in for the commercials only. The 42 minutes of commercials during the Super Bowl have become known for pushing the limits of what is considered acceptable to network censors, the FCC, and the public. Many advertisers like Go Daddy and PETA submit ads knowing they will be rejected, content with the publicity obtained from the controversy.
Increasingly more risque ads are being accepted. At the same time, ads with a Christian message are flat-out rejected.
Fox, which broadcasts the Super Bowl, has a policy prohibiting ads that contain religious advocacy. It states, “As a matter of company policy, Fox Broadcasting Company does not accept advertising from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing particular beliefs or practices.”
40% of major sports games contain ads for male-erectile enhancement, something clearly inappropriate for children. Why are erectile dysfunction commercials acceptable while religious advocacy is not?
This year, a commercial featuring a quarterback with “John 3:16” written as dark smudges beneath his eyes was rejected. The Christian message in the ad was subtle, just some fans watching football and wondering what “John 3:16” meant when the camera panned in on the athlete. For Fox to find it offensive is a stretch, considering football players frequently huddle in prayer on the field and thank Jesus after they score.
Commercials that were approved to run this year included another racy commercial from Go Daddy featuring its “Go Daddy Girls” appearing seemingly naked, a Doritos commercial promoting the gay lifestyle, and a suggestive commercial for Sketchers footwear featuring sex tape reality star Kim Kardashian suggestively prancing around in skimpy skintight clothing.
By rejecting the Christian ad, Fox put it in the same category as several truly revolting ads it also rejected. One was for an adultery-promoting website. Another featured bobbleheads of Jesus and Obama. The Jesus bobblehead is wearing a robe that says, “Jesus hates Obama.” The Obama bobblehead falls down into a dish of water. A Pepsi-Doritos ad that was rejected portrayed Pepsi and Doritos as the wine and bread of the Eucharist. PETA’s ad featured semi-nude women suggestively eating vegetables.