The NFL decided to pull a Super Bowl ad for GNC created by Bullish, the new agency launched by Deutsch veterans Michael Duda and Brent Vartan last year.
“It’s one thing to have a spot not approved because of content,” Duda, the agency’s managing partner, said. “It’s another thing when a business is singled out and blindsided post approval and contract.”
The NFL made the decision that the 30-second spot couldn’t run during Fox’s broadcast, citing GNC’s sale of supplements containing two drugs the NFL bans players from taking.
“We gave Fox the story boards, they approved them, and the rough cut they cleared in writing last week,” GNC executive vice president and chief marketing and ecommerce officer Jeff Hennion told ESPN, stating that he learned of the NFL’s decision just yesterday and that GNC is exploring its legal options.
“We have told the network it may not air in Super Bowl or any NFL programming. This is consistent with our policies that prohibit the advertising of supplements,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the publication.
According to statements provided to Adweek by GNC the spot was designed to “introduce the public to One New GNC,” the brand’s simplified pricing scheme introduced last month.
Luckily for Bullish, it’s not the shop’s only big game effort. The agency teased its “Roomba Cats” Super Bowl spot for GoDaddy last week.