The NFL’s Ad Policy is a Fumble


When it’s not engulfed in the bogus controversy surrounding the Redskins’ name, the NFL promulgates a dizzying array of rules and regulations about what content is appropriate for TV ads during broadcasts of its professional football games.:  For the Super Bowl, famous for increasingly risqué: ads: and for the incident that gave us the magnificent term “wardrobe malfunction,” the patchwork of additional regulations can be even more bewildering.:  Obviously, the free speech of advertisers is protected; what 110 million people watch on TV, however, is also subject to reasonable restrictions.:  Basic standards about indecency, profanity, and violence do indeed apply to television programming, especially for the primary event of the year, during which you can run a 30-second ad for a paltry: 4 million bucks.:  And yes, the content of commercials that appear on our TVs during the most popular sporting event in America does say a great deal about our culture.

Take a: lookatsomeads: that have aired in front of Super Bowl audiences in the last few years. You get the picture. (Raise your hand if you’ve just violated Matthew 5:28!) Common Super Bowl ads are not just about sexual matters, by the way: they can also be: somewhatviolent.:  Whatever you think of these ads, they were all determined to be appropriate for the Super Bowl.:  And we’ve all seen similar-themed and equally graphic ads run routinely during the 364 days and 20 hours of the year that don’t fall during the Big Game. Everything fromjingle-bell themed boxers: to Grand Theft Auto V is heavily advertised throughout the year.

But when Daniel Defense, a Georgia-based gun manufacturer, produced an ad for the upcoming Super Bowl, it did not pass muster. The NFL: rejected: the commercial, which you can see: here.

What’s not to like about the ad?:  A soldier who has returned from war is, finally, home.:  Having served overseas protecting the country, he now is concerned with guarding his wife and their baby from dangers that may arise at home.:  For this task, he disappoints Piers Morgan and chooses a high-powered rifle made by Daniel Defense.

Most liberals do not value the Second Amendment, and the idea of private gun ownership makes them uncomfortable.:  It should be manifestly clear why, for people who blame society collectively for the actions of criminals, for those who trust government for their every waking (and sleeping) need, and for collectivists who reject the premise of personal responsibility, trusting normal, law-abiding citizens to take care of themselves is a nonstarter.:  Thus, this ad offends them.:  Since these are the same people who love to introduce sex into anything, it should be equally clear why sex-themed Super Bowl ads do not bother them.:  And, although liberals disapprove of guns for personal use, they would never condemn violent video games because they can’t afford to anger their base of Big Money; we all know the political leanings of the entertainment industry.

Sadly, the NFL, like most associations of its kind, swims with the tide in pretty much everything, determined to avoid controversy and, more importantly, afraid of offending the ruling liberal elite.:  On the issue of guns in particular, one needs only to watch the next Bob Costas Sunday Night halftime rant to understand this point.:  Considering the well-practiced ability of the easily offended to bully their targets into abandoning their values–just ask Chick-fil-A–it is easy to understand the NFL’s decision not to permit Daniel Defense’s commercial.:  (One almost feels sorry for Dan Snyder.:  It won’t be long till he’s bullied into changing the Redskins’ name.)

If ads that support guns for self-defense are the first step towards all-out liberal outrage, ads that in any way imply an endorsement of the natural family unit : are the coup de grace.:  And the Daniel Defense ad is also guilty of the latter.:  Watch it again.:  It’s a married man and woman.:  He briefly mends the yard on his way up the driveway, after coming home from work.:  She’s folding the laundry.:  They’re happy together–he hugs her and kisses her cheek.:  Their adorable baby is so delighted to see Daddy come home.:  After a long day at work, he at last gets to hold his precious newborn child.

Note also that the narrator, who is the father, declares firmly, “I: am responsible for their protection.”:  Red flag right there.:  The stuff about a happily married husband and wife is merely: worrisome: to the people who would disapprove of this ad.:  (It may be unjustlystereotypical: to show a husband tending to the yard and a wife doing the laundry, but it’s notinsulting: to the point of disqualification.):  But with that last comment about protecting his family, Daddy just failed Women’s Studies 101.:  Here is a father taking on the quintessential, most traditional role of a man: protecting his family.:  In today’s world, suggesting anything like that is a sign of barbaric patriarchy and rigid misogyny.

On its face, this looks like it’s all about the Left’s loathing of gun rights.:  But it is not entirely about that.:  When Jessica Simpson and Kate Upton are the stars of Super Bowl ads, when popular shows and movies include: Friends, Modern Dads, Two and a Half Men: and: The Hangover,: it’s pretty difficult to find much institutional support for an ad like this.

This blog post was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s “We Need Family”: column.: 


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