CBS vs. ManCrunch.com

Before the Buffalo wings are even in the oven, the Super Bowl has already heated up with controversy.

With advertising revenue down, for both newspapers and television, some might think it’s odd that CBS rejected an ad for the Super Bowl. It was reported this week on CNNMoney.com that CBS (the station that will be airing the Super Bowl on Feb. 7) rejected an ad from the gay dating website ManCrunch.com.

The ad shows two men watching the Super Bowl and while they both reach for a potato chip their hands touch and they wind up on top of each other, a very Hollywood like cliché.

I am a proponent of Gay Rights and marriage equality, but this is nothing new. CBS is playing it safe. Networks have come under heightened scrutiny ever since the Janet Jackson’s wardrobe mishap in 2004.

CBS said they rejected the ad for financial purposes. And from their point of view they were right in doing so. This ad was bound to create controversy from the beginning and would have caused complaints from viewers and potential FCC fines for CBS.

Some say that since Focus on the Family is airing a pro-life spot, then ManCrunch.com should get equal treatment. But this is not an issue of what’s fair and what’s not. This is not journalism. This is business, and CBS has to recognize that the demographic that watches the Super Bowl would not respond to the ad ManCrunch.com would offer.

It was reported Tuesday that CBS sold out its Super Bowl ads, and although the ad revenue is not in yet, I’m sure CBS will do just fine. Last year NBC made a total of $206 million from Super Bowl ad revenue and the same is expected for CBS.

And let’s face it, no one knew what ManCrunch.com was before this started. Whether they got an ad or not, people are now talking about them and more people will now visit their site.  And they didn’t have to pay the $2.5 million for the ad. Everyone who was going to watch the Super Bowl is still going to enjoy a night of greasy foods and screaming at the television. Everybody’s happy.

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