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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Super Bowl Bans Infidelity Ad.

Kudos to the National Football League for having and using their control to prevent the same advertiser from running infidelity ads during the Super Bowl. Should I presume that local networks all over the country don't get any local ad time during the super bowl, or if they do, they won't run the infidelity ad, locally? (I purposely haven't mentioned the advertiser to avoid promoting them.)

Several months ago I was watching the Television show Cheaters and almost fell out of my chair when a commercial promoting infidelity was shown. I actually emailed Cheaters and asked them about this apparent conflagration, here was Cheater's response. "

"Alessandro:
Thank you for contacting Cheaters. Cheaters is a nationally and internationally syndicated TV show, which means our ad revenues are split between local stations and ourselves. Cheaters does not control who advertises in the station’s portion of the ad time. Best regards and thanks again, we hope this helps answer your question. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns."
end of email message.

It will be interesting to see if the infidelity ad makes it on the air via local commercial programming that presumably is run during the Super-Bowl between the national ads.

20 comments:

mberenis said...

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Alessandro Machi said...

hmmm, I don't believe anyone get Super Bowl tickets for under 100 dollars, not even a 1,000 dollars. buyer beware.

Infidel753 said...

Isn't it somewhat inconsistent to criticize YouTube for censoring a video they didn't like, and then praise the NFL for doing essentially the same thing?

Alessandro Machi said...

Infidel, interesting observation. Youtube did what it did, and if enough people protest, perhaps YouTube will put OnaKalima's video back up.

I would suggest the same thing for the banned super bowl commercial. If enough people complain that they want the banned commercial aired during the super bowl, then the NFL should listen as well.

Alessandro Machi said...

I should add one more thing. YouTube may have acted on one complaint. That is not necessarily a valid sample size to deny another their chance to be heard.

In the case of the super bowl, knowing the infidelity commercial would offend a LOT of people, the NFL made a pre-emptive move and banned it.

However, if the NFL got a million complaints demanding the infidelity commercial be aired, then perhaps they should air it. One wonders how many of that million would be willing to use their real name in their email.

God help us if that happened.

Infidel753 said...

Personally, I'd say that both YouTube and the NFL should be free to show or not show whatever they choose. (Deletion of material from YouTube because somebody objects to it is a pervasive problem, but the answer to that should be to have many competing services like YouTube so that everything can be seen somewhere -- and, of course, there are competitors to YouTube.)

Freedom of expression doesn't mean that others are obligated to provide a forum for views they object to -- that's why, for example, I feel perfectly comfortable using comment moderation on my own site.

It would really be a nightmare, though, if what can and can't be seen came to depend on how many people consider it acceptable. I hope that both the Ona Kalima video and the infidelity ad are able to find other service providers on the net where they can be shown.

Alessandro Machi said...

The very purpose of a commercial is to "legitimize" a product or service. Just why would we want to "legitimize" a product or service that promotes infidelity".

Attorney's might love it because it would probably lead to even more divorces and more business. What if the local paintshop wanted to advertise the best way to tag a building and not get caught?

At the end of the commercial would be the tagline, The number one store for taggers! Would that be freedom of speech as well?

Infidel753 said...

Tagging buildings is illegal; infidelity is just a taboo. Anyway, the commercial itself wouldn't, and shouldn't, be illegal.

Freedom of expression should not be limited to things that X% of the population agrees should be "legitimized". It must apply to even the most unpopular ideas, or it means nothing. I favor freedom of speech for all kinds of things that I wouldn't want to "legitimize". I wouldn't want to legitimize Communism or religious fundamentalism, but their supporters have every right to express their views.

Obamatards probably think it's harmful to society to "legitimize" criticism of Obama (the ones who can understand concepts like "legitimize", anyway). By your logic, they'd be justified in trying to get Blogger to delete your site.

Infidel753 said...

PS Here's an example of a video which YouTube removed because people complained. The person who made it simply re-posted it on a less cowardly video-hosting site and publicized the fact. Maybe Ona Kalima can do the same.

Alessandro Machi said...

A commercial encouraging taggers to buy paint from a paint store wouldn't be legal, nor should it be. It is infringing upon existing agreed upon standards and guidelines. Unless it had a warning on the end that said tagging was illegal and could lead to prison time???

In regards to the super-bowl infidelity commercial, instead of trying to encourage people to break their marriage vows, if the infidelity commercial focused on encouraging people not to marry, then it might have made it in.

Now that would be an interesting angle to take because it would make people think.

Commercials that encourage the raiding and wanton destruction of existing agreed upon traditions, while also doing it for profit and gain, may actually have nothing to do with freedom of speech issues.

One could argue that organizations like PETA impede agreed upon business traditions. However PETA isn't a for profit organization, and frankly, PETA doesn't get to air all of their commercials anyways!

What would be really interesting is if the infidelity commercial had to run a disclaimer or warning...

WARNING! Cheating on your spouse can result in veneral diseases, unwanted pregnancies, physical assault if your spouse finds out, or divorce, so please cheat responsibly!

Although unlike drinking, one can't really cheat responsibly, so the last part of the warning probably would not be allowed.

WARNING! Cheating on your spouse can result in veneral diseases, unwanted pregnancies, physical assault if your spouse finds out, or divorce.

I wonder if NFL football would consider running the infidelity ad if it came with such a warning. I might not actually object if the warning is CLEARLY AND SLOWLY STATED so that it can't be missed.

Alessandro Machi said...

I saw the video you posted the link to. At first I was offended at the blanket rejection of other religions.

But once the point was made that sex with 9 year old girls is sanctioned, it kind of changed my mind.

The issue of Islam religion allowing sex with 9 year old girls is never openly discussed in the news that I have seen, will someone from the Islam faith let us know if sex with such young girls is allowed in your faith?

Infidel753 said...

Commercials that encourage the raiding and wanton destruction of existing agreed upon traditions, while also doing it for profit and gain, may actually have nothing to do with freedom of speech issues.

Fortunately, this is not the actual standard. If it were, there would no longer be any freedom of expression in any meaningful sense.

Oh, and if you think that video was offensive, try this one.

Alessandro Machi said...

No, I did not think that video was offensive, as long as the accusation it is making is true.

So, freedom of speech and truth are partners on some level.

If the accusation made in the video link you provided is not true, then I think any showing of it needs to be accompanied by some sort of warning.

I'm not convinced that freedom of speech extends to flagrant lying.

Alessandro Machi said...

As for the one about the Jews and World War II, yikes.

What is sad is how no matter what came up on the screen, it was all the jews fault. Seriously, anything could have come up on the screen, and the announcer would have said it was because of the Jews. It was almost like I was an audition for an anti Jewish Improve Troupe.

I could see the director barking out instructions, "No matter what come up on the screen, it is because of the Jews. Unless it is something nice and good, then it is despite the Jews:"

Since it would appear that it probably all can't be true, not playing that kind of video is not such a bad idea.

However, if some people believe that viewpoint, and try and pass it on, then pretending it does not exist can be a problem as well.

Once again, maybe a warning is order before it were to be shown on YouTube???

Infidel753 said...

Amin al-Ansari (the man delivering the anti-Jewish lecture) is a Muslim clergyman and was presumably speaking on TV; I'm sure he didn't have a director telling him what to say. He was expressing his own views, which are pretty much in line with the accepted conventional wisdom in the culture he lives in.

There's no real risk that any Western person who wasn't already seriously deranged would agree with what he was saying. The point of showing the video is to expose the fact that there are people like al-Ansari who say these things, and that the Islamic society considers such views normal and acceptable.

But on the larger issue of freedom of expression, the point is that every point of view must be allowed to be heard. No one can be trusted to decide what is acceptable or "legitimate".

Mr. al-Ansari would certainly disapprove of any expression of a pro-Jewish viewpoint, and most people in his society would probably agree with him. YouTube (or someone who complained to them) disapproved of the Ona Kalima video. The NFL disapproved of the infidelity ad. The religious nuts in our own society disapprove of defenses of abortion. I disapprove of religion. You apparently disapprove of attacks on "traditions", especially if done "for profit". Obamatards would disapprove of your website. The world is chock full of people who disapprove of things. The minute we start making exceptions in freedom of expression for any of those reasons, freedom of expression is doomed.

Alessandro Machi said...

I did link my viewpoint to "truth" however. Sure, we can all have differing viewpoints of what truth is, but in instances where the truth can be changed to infidelity is good, the act of warning that there could be consequences from beind unfaithful balances the message just enough, without necessarily changing the original message.

Does Islam promote sex with 9 year olds?

Infidel753 said...

"The Earth is round" or "2+2=4" are truths. "Infidelity is bad" or "Obama is bad" or "religion is bad" are opinions.

Even if someone wanted to publicize his view that 2+2=5, I see no grounds for trying to stop him, if one believes in freedom of expression.

I had an affair with a married woman once. No innocent parties were harmed. Her husband had committed adultery before she got involved with me. They had no children. No one got any venereal diseases. I have no regrets about it at all.

Requiring such an ad to remind people about the risks you mention would be like requiring ads for airlines to mention the possibility of plane crashes, or requiring ads for cars to remind people that they can crash. Every course of action has some risks.

Islam does not exactly promote sex with 9-year-old girls, but cannot condemn it since the prophet Muhammad, who is supposed to be a moral paragon, did it. He actually married Ayesha when she was 6, but waited 3 years to consummate the marriage). In Islamic countries that actually apply Islamic law as opposed to using some Western-derived legal system, child marriages still happen.

Alessandro Machi said...

What if the husband hadn't had an affair? Would your actions or your judgement of yourself be any different?

What if you found out that the reason the husband had an affair was because his wife started putting her energy towards other men and really didn't care much about him, and that was why he originally cheated?

What if she purposely ignored him and that led to his affair?

It sounds to me like you cared about what the "truth" was before you had the affair. If so, the question becomes, did you allow 2 + 2 to equal 5 because it brought you pleasure.

Infidel753 said...

I really don't know the answer to any of those questions. The wife initiated the relationship with me, by the way, not vice-versa.

She did tell me that when her husband figured out what was going on between her and me, the first question he asked her was "Can I watch?"

You keep talking about "truth". I don't think the "truth" of what people are really like is what you think it is. :-)

I do think we've exhausted the subject.

Alessandro Machi said...

If the husband approves and wants to watch, then it might not be considered an affair.

People still act on what they believe, or what they want to believe, is the truth. Portraying affairs as being a good thing, without in any way mentioning the bad, is not necessarily a good idea, for a commercial.

Just look at the drug commercials that mention possible side effects. Are their free speech rights being compromised?

The Infidelity ad people were probably not cogent enough to realize that the only possible way the ad could run was with a disclaimer.

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