DirecTV’s ‘Awkward Rob Lowe’ Spot Draws Protests From Shy Bladder Sufferers

Group says ad makes light of a misunderstood condition

Not everyone thinks Rob Lowe's "painfully awkward" commercial for DirecTV is funny.

The Associated Press reported today that members of the International Paruresis Association—which represents people with what is commonly referred to as shy bladder syndrome—are upset with Lowe's depiction of a person who has trouble urinating in public restrooms. They've asked DirecTV to stop airing the spot because they think it is in poor taste, with numerous people writing the satellite provider.

"We don't mind if people have a little fun with it," Steve Soifer, CEO of the association, told the AP. He said that around 7 percent of U.S. citizens suffer from the syndrome. "It's a situation that a lot of people don't understand. In this particular case, the portrayal is making it look ridiculous, that this guy is a loser for having a problem."

Speaking with the news wire, Soifer added, "What if he didn't have a leg or an arm? Are you going to make fun of them?"

But the TV company believes its critics are overreacting. The campaign is attempting to use humor to inspire folks to switch from cable packages to DirecTV.

"The ads will continue to run for the vast majority of viewers who have told us they enjoy the spots and understand that, like all of our commercials, they take place in a fantasy world and are not based in reality," Darris Gringeri, spokesman for DirecTV, told the AP. 

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