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NFL Shoots Self In Foot Banning Gun Ad From Super Bowl

12/10/2013

shoot-self-in-foot1A gun ad that was specifically designed to fit the rules that would allow it to air during Super Bowl XLVIII in February is being rejected by the NFL — and some people, including yours truly, are crying foul.

The ad in contention — which shows a man, home from active military service, taking responsibility for protecting his family — is not for home security systems, instead it’s for the firearm products brand Daniel Defense. It doesn’t show a gun, except for a silhouetted rifle as part of its logo at the end, an image the company was willing to swap out for an American flag or the words “Shall Not Be Infringed,” if that made the deal happen.

The NFL’s is standing by its decision pointing to its restriction on advertisements seeking to sell firearms reads: 5. Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons. This exempts retailers like Cabelas or Gander Mountain.

Daniel Defense is lobbying for an exemption from that restriction on two fronts: first, no guns are visible in the ad; the company even offered to replace the final image of a gun with an American flag and/or the words “shall not be infringed.” Second, the company’s stores do sell other products besides firearms. However, the NFL has issued a “non-negotiable denial.”

Daniel Defense is obviously treading the line between strictly commerce-based advertisements and political advocacy here. While the NFL has traditionally declined to run issue-oriented national ads during the Super Bowl, local affiliates have more latitude to air more targeted or potentially provocative advertisements.

Of course, getting ads “banned” is a badge of honor; the message gets out at a fraction of the cost of actual airtime. GoDaddy built an entire industry on this practice with its allegedly too hot for the NFL campaigns.

Watch for yourself. Then compare it the spot to the video game commercials depicting war like a bunch of fun.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brandon Scholz permalink
    12/10/2013 8:57 am

    I’ve seen it – great ad. You’re right, probably to hot for the NFL.

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