The airwaves are public. They are not owned by the networks. As such, I believe that advocacy ads -- no matter what they advocate, short of hate, libel, and crime -- should be accepted, as long as they meet the usual broadcast standards of decency and violence. (Although I am a lot less prudish than most. But that's another matter.)
NBC, hostcaster of the upcoming Super Bowl, has rejected two ads ostensibly because they're advocacy ads. This to me is ridiculous. All ads advocate something, whether it is the eating of processed foods or the use of prescription drugs to treat ailments caused by the consumption of those processed foods.
During election campaigns, you can't flip channels without ads advocating some cause or another, not to mention candidates.And is there anything more offensive than an attack ad? Those of course would run.
The following two ads however have turned out to be no-nos this year.
The first is by PETA, the radical animal rights group that can't stop exploiting women's bodies in its campaigns to shock us out of eating meat.
Now, understand, I am all for all of us going almost, if not totally, vegan, both for environmental and humanitarian reasons. But I agree that it is just tasteless to show mostly-naked women getting up close and personal with zucchinis on a family program.
The thing is, PETA has accomplished its aims. People are talking about the ad. It's gone viral.
I am sure you can Google it so I am not embedding it here. Instead, I offer you the ladies of The View:
Now here's the surprise for regular readers of Broadsides.
Yet another advocacy ad was turned down, one that is ''pro-life'' or, as I prefer to think of it, ''anti-choice'' and ''pro-forced pregnancy.'' It's a stunning bit of production, beautifully done, very powerful and, quite frankly, I can see no reason why NBC rejected it.
Judge for yourself:
Just as I believe an ad celebrating a woman's right to choose should run, I believe that this ad should get airtime too -- especially since it appears that NBC would have accepted the PETA ad if it weren't so porny.
Five years ago, the NFL rejected an ad criticizing former President George W. Bush's fiscal policies. Turned out it was correct too. But it was happy to accept taxpayer dollars to run an anti-drug ad from the White House.
Seems to me that you go with all advocacy ads, or none.
And, like I said, because the airwaves are public, you go with them all.