CBS has rejected a Super Bowl ad submitted by a gay dating Web site that shows two male football fans making out.
The network shot down the commercial Friday in a letter to the site — ManCrunch.com — saying the “creative is not within the Network’s Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday.”
Also the network said its sales department had difficulty verifying the credit of the site to guarantee payment of the estimated $2.5 million cost to air the ad.
“After reviewing the ad – which is entirely commercial in nature – our Standards and Practices department decided not to accept this particular spot,” said CBS, in a statement. “As always, we are open to working with the client on alternative submissions.”
Sources said the network felt the site was using the tried-and-true tactic of generating free publicity by submitting a Super Bowl ad they knew was likely to be rejected and was ultimately unwilling to pay for.
A ManCrunch representative denied that the ad was a marketing ploy and called CBS’ decision discriminatory.
“We’re 100 percent serious,” said rep Elissa Buchter. “We have the money to pay for it. If the ad showed a man and woman kissing, it would have been accepted. You see ads for erectile dysfunction morning, noon and night. It’s discriminatory that they won’t show this.”
Buchter said the site spent more than $100,000 on the ad and has raised $40 million from investors.
“They should call our bluff,” she said. “If the ad doesn’t air on the Super Bowl, it will air on another network. It’s not like it plays like Adam Lambert [kissing another man on the AMAs].”
CBS was rocked by controversy when it accepted a pro-life Super Bowl ad from conservative group Focus on the Family and announced it was relaxing its standards on accepting “advocacy” ads.