CBS this week refused to air a Super Bowl ad made by a gay dating site, an announcement that came just days after news broke the network would air college football star Tim Tebow's Christian pro-life ad during the big game.
The Super Bowl network said it rejected Mancrunch.com's ad, which features two male football fans kissing on a couch while watching a game, because it failed to meet CBS' standards for commercial advertisements, Fox News reported Friday.
"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," the rejection letter said, according to Fox. "Moreover, our Sales Department has had difficulty verifying your organization's credit status."
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Mancrunch.com execs said it wasn't their "credit status" that prompted CBS to dump them from the Bowl -- it was "discrimination," especially as University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow's pro-life ad with Christian group Focus on the Family was allowed to run during the game.
"We are very disappointed in 2010 such discrimination is happening especially given the fact that Focus on the Family is allowed to promote their way of life during the Super Bowl," said a rep for Mancrunch.com, who called on "every same-sex advocacy group to petition CBS."
Tebow's advertisement has itself been the subject of a media frenzy, causing advocacy groups to protest the controversial pro-life TV spot. The 30-second ad is expected to recount the story of Tim's mother, Pam Tebow, who defied doctors' recommendations to abort her fifth child -- the Heisman Trophy-winning Tim -- and instead gave birth while in the Philippines.
CBS defended its choice to air the Focus on the Family ad, saying it was setting a precedent for the network to accept more advocacy spots.
"We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms," spokesman Dana McClintock said this week. "In fact, most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time."
CBS "will continue to consider responsibly produced ads from all groups for the few remaining spots in Super Bowl XLIV," McClintock said.