ABC Halts Y&R/7Up Spot From Super Bowl Run

ABC Television has blocked 7Up from running the first spot in its new “Make 7 Up Yours” campaign during the Super Bowl, deeming it inappropriate for a mass audience that is expected to reach some 130 million viewers, sources said.
The 30-second spot, by Young & Rubicam here, features comedian Orlando Jones as a new marketing chief walking down a street, wearing a green T-shirt with the words, “Make 7” on the front and “Up yours” on the back. Passers-by have different reactions; an Asian man with a cell phone appears to be insulted after seeing the back of the shirt.
The spot, which already is running on other networks, is designed to introduce the in-your-face campaign–the third for the struggling soda brand in as many years. 7Up sees Super Bowl XXXIV as a golden opportunity to reposition the brand.
A different spot will fill the time bought in the second quarter: In it, Jones puts a 7Up vending machine in the middle of a busy highway, said sources.
An ABC representative declined to discuss the spot. “We really don’t comment on issues related to content in advertising,” said Ed Dandridge, vice president, network communications.
Y&R also declined comment. John Clarke, the chief advertising officer at 7Up’s parent,
Dr Pepper/7Up, Plano, Texas, could not be reached. A 7Up representative confirmed the “T-shirt” ad would not air during the Jan. 30 game. (7Up also has bought time during the pregame show.)
Observers questioned ABC’s judgment, at a time when TV programming has become increasingly racy. “Since when did the networks become the dictators of good taste?” one source said. “Sit and watch TV–all the trash they put on. Oh, but [you] can’t say, ‘Up yours?’