Tim Tebow stars in a Super Bowl Commercial for Focus on the Family

CBS officials have “approved a script for a Super Bowl spot” from Christian group Focus on the Family, which suggests that the ad “will not carry a pro-life message — at least an overt one,” according to David Goetzl of MEDIADAILYNEWS. CBS has a “policy of prohibiting advocacy ads, even ones that carry an ‘implicit’ endorsement for a side in a public debate.” There has been speculation that Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl spot, starring former Univ. of Florida QB Tim Tebow and his mother, might “offer a pro-life message.” However, a CBS spokesperson said that the network “will review the video version of the spot before giving it the final green light, but does not anticipate any hurdles.” Focus on the Family only announced the ad would carry a “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” theme, utilizing a “strategy that many Super Bowl advertisers employ: Announce that an ad has been bought, but hold off on releasing details in order to generate pre-game interest.” Goetzl notes CBS in recent years has “rejected Super Bowl ads on the grounds that they advocate one side in matters where ‘substantial elements of the community (are) in opposition to one another'” (MEDIADAILYNEWS, 1/20 issue).

AD AGE’s Brian Steinberg noted the ad buy “may come as a surprise to veteran Super Bowl watchers.” NBC last year turned down an ad from PETA that “showed women in lingerie placed in suggestive positions with pumpkins and asparagus.” CBS also “turned down a similar ad for its 2004 Super Bowl broadcast as well as one from MoveOn.org that bashed President Bush.” Focus on the Family VP/Media Relations Gary Schneeberger said that the message in his organization’s commercial “is likely to act more as an offer of help, with the hope the commercial will generate awareness for the organization and its family services” (ADAGE.com, 1/19).


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