Magazine article The Progressive

Super Bowl Ad Goes Flat

Magazine article The Progressive

Super Bowl Ad Goes Flat

Article excerpt

There is no more valuable piece of cultural commercial real estate than a sixty-second ad during the Super Bowl. The NFUs championship game is perhaps the last collective viewing experience in our fractured culture, and at a cost of $3-$5 million a commercial, the NFL and television networks know it.

Over the years, the league and their broadcast partners have aired ads that have been sexist, violent, or simply disgusting. Their only stated rule is no political advertising. Yet even this rule has been subject to a brazen double standard. While Move On and other liberal advocacy groups have had their ads rejected on a regular basis, Tim Tebow was allowed two years ago to do an ad for the anti-gay, anti-choice organization Focus on the Family. Anti-union ads were allowed to run regionally last year, as well.

For the 2013 game, there is another example of the political double standard at play. The league and the networks agreed to broadcast an ad produced by the company Soda Stream. SodaStream is a gadget that allows people to carbonate their own beverages. As SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum says, "This is the new way to do soda. We're revolutionizing it. There exists a smarter way to enjoy soft drinks, getting the bubbles without the bottles."

There is just one problem with Birnbaum's "revolutionary" company: It's housed in an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank.

Not only are SodaStream products manufactured there, but Palestinian workers have been fired when trying to agitate for better wages and working conditions. …

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