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Advertising gone wrong

21 October 2011

Making sure that an advertisement does not create any controversy is very important. One example of advertising gone wrong was Snickers chocolate commercials aired in the United States during the Super Bowl in 2007. The commercial was about two mechanics sharing a Snickers bar from both ends and so their mouths touch making them feel like they should do something manly so they start ripping off their chest hair. There was a website on which people could on log onto and vote for alternative endings to the commercial. These alternative endings included, one mechanic beating the other with a wrench and another ending was where the men guzzle motor oil because it is seen as being 'manly' and somehow it eases the tension and the awkwardness.  This type of commercial promotes anti-gay bullying and teaches children that it is correct to act this way. It gives teenagers the impression that hating someone for being gay or lesbian is the right way to behave. It is this type of controversial advertising that leads to the death of innocent teenagers because they are bullied and beaten for being 'different'.  In 1998, Judy Shepard's son was beaten to death for being gay. She said, "It essentially gives 'permission' to our society to verbally or physically harass individuals who are gay, lesbian or bisexual." She goes on to mention that people who watch these advertisements look up to these professional sports figures as role models and that they should set a better example.  Below is the commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. The commercial did not air in Canada and the website where the alternative endings were available for people to vote on, is now not functioning.  The FCC today asked for public comments on the petition of the MusicFirst Coalition asking the Commission to take action against broadcast stations who did not fairly address on air the proposed sound recording public performance royalty for terrestrial radio.  The Petition, about which we wrote here, alleges, with very few specifics, that some radio stations have taken adverse actions against musical artists who have spoken out in support of the royalty, and also that stations have refused to run ads supporting the performance royalty while running their own ads opposing the royalty (opposing ads which MusicFirst claims contain false statements).  MusicFirst submits that these actions are contrary to the public interest.  The FCC has asked for comment on specific issues raised in the Petition.  Comments are to be filed by September 8, and Replies on September 23.   The specific questions on which the FCC seeks comment are as follows: (i)      whether and to what extent certain broadcasters are “targeting and threatening artists who have spoken out in favor of the PRA, including a refusal to air the music of such artists"; (ii)    the effects of radio broadcasters’ alleged refusal to air advertisements from MusicFIRST in support of the PRA; 

 

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