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DirecTV Pulls New Ad From YouTube After Debate Turns 'R-Rated'

After launching a new TV spot in the vein of its popular "Russian Billionaire" ads, DirecTV has abruptly pulled the commercial from YouTube due to a flood of negative comments. Posted for only a few days on DirecTV's official channel, the ad by Grey New York sparked heated allegations of racism, reverse-racism, and even elder abuse. As you can see in the clip below, the spot stars fictional boxing champ Tommy "The Truth" Thompson and his entourage, which includes a kid called "Half Truth." The ad might have passed as annoying at worst, were it not for the fact that the spot ends with the little boy sucker-punching the old white butler while everyone else smiles and nods. YouTube commenters quickly erupted into a debate over whether the ad enforced stereotypes and advocated random violence. One harsh jab suggested, "We should be up in arms and boycott DirecTV because it's not acceptable." When AdFreak noticed the ad had been pulled, we contacted DirecTV and received the following comment from a brand spokesperson: "The spot was removed from YouTube because the content of the associated posts was developing into an R-rated dialogue that had nothing to do with the spot itself. While we have received a handful of emails on the spot (which is normal), the vast majority of viewers understand that it is nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek comedy piece within the same campaign of other DirecTV ads featuring larger-than-life characters." To that point, the spokesperson said, the ad's national TV flight "will continue to run as planned."

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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd and David Griner.

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