Sports

Mancrunch, Focus on Family, CBS, Super Bowl

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You know what's an offensive ad? Bud Light's "Amy" spot, in which a stalker wreckingballs a woman's house and sets fire to her lawn:

Maybe I just feel sorry for Amy, but this seems more troubling than an anti-abortion ad from Focus On the Family or an ad with two men kissing for ManCrunch.com.

Before homosexuality was invented, Super Bowl-winning QBs didn't need helmets!

Throughout playoff season, CBS has been drawing controversy for its decision to air an anti-abortion spot from Focus on the Family during Super Bowl 44. This decision seemed to contradict the Tiffany Network's in-house guidelines against airing "advocacy" ads at the network level, which the network in a 2004 statement [pdf] described as both "longstanding" and "decades old."

The decision prompted the expected protest. There's a Facebook page. Sportswriters are lamenting the injection of politics into a job where all you used to have to do was cover up Tiger's affairs.

So last week CBS announced that it was revisiting its six-years- or decades-old policy, and had become more open to airing political ads. "We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms," a spokesman announced. "In fact, most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time."

On Friday, CBS rejected an ad for the gay dating site ManCrunch.com. This was not an advocacy ad but a for-profit service ad. "CBS Standards and Practices has reviewed your proposed Super Bowl ad and concluded that the creative is not within the Network's Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday," the network wrote. "Moreover, our Sales Department has had difficulty verifying your organization's credit status."

So this is really all a story of the great credit unwind. Nevertheless, the rejected spot has started up a new round of trouble. You can now add "GLAAD wants answers about Mancrunch rejection" to the list of headlines you never thought you'd see at NBC's footballtalk site.

Focus on the Family, in a great piece of old-time football razzledazzle, is not showing its ad before the Super Bowl. Here are two FOTF officials discussing the ad, which will reportedly treat the birth of Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow…

Here is the ad for Man Crunch that CBS rejected…

Here is a Mad TV sketch remarkably similar to the Man Crunch ad…

And here are Vivian Girls with their newish single "When I'm Gone"…

I'm not sure CBS, a sharecropper on government-owned spectrum that answers to an executive branch commission, is a private company. Only an organization that is under the thumb of a capricious and hidebound regulator like the FCC could have produced those mealymouthed guidelines in the first place. And even within the constraints of broadcast television, CBS has never stood out as particulary forward-looking. (I'm pretty sure the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0 is the last time CBS was really Far Out.) The network's position seems pretty consistent here: They're in the business of failing to offend the largest audience possible. The network can probably make a consistent case that FOTF fits and ManCrunch doesn't on that basis.

But because they're network weasels, they can't really make that argument. So we're left with inconsistent hocus pocus about standards. The most offensive thing in the Man Crunch ad is that the Packers and the Vikings are not playing in Super Bowl 44, nor could they, since they're in the same conference. (I'm pretty sure it's gay not to know that.) The irony (other than that the Super Bowl, a celebration of national unity that always ends up making you feel how alone you truly are, is the ideal time slot for a matchmaking ad) is that if you used that Man Crunch script for a funny beer ad, nobody would have thought anything of it. 

And here's McGarrett, telling us all to hang loose:

NEXT: Bad Hoboken Cop Punished With $132,000/Year Vacation

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  1. You know what’s an offensive ad beer? Bud Light.

    1. TIM! Thanks for all the hat tips. NOT!

      And I prefer The Veronicas over Vivian Girls, on the whole they both suck scale. The Ting Tings actually manage to do a more entertaining bit of mindless sound.

      1. It’s all a throwback to No Wave pretentious bullshit. Just thinking about it makes me want to shove an icepick in my ear.

        1. Vivian Girls are in no way a throwback to No Wave. Their music is far too pop, far too easy on the ears to have anything to do with that scene.

          They are more early-JAMC and Slumberland-style noise pop and in turn the Ramones and the Velvet Underground and the Beach Boys and on back to 50s pop and….

  2. that if you used that Man Crunch script for a funny beer ad, nobody would have thought anything of it.

    I’m pretty sure that running an ad showing two guys making out would have cost Budweiser some sales.

    1. Not to mention Epi and MNG doing the first marriage all in one body.

  3. I’ve got nothing against gays. Live and let live, I say.

    But, sorry, I don’t wanna see guys puckering up in cheesy commercials while I’m trying to watch the damn Super Bowl!

    This is a very modest line to draw, and I’m drawing it. Pass the chips and guacamole.

    1. Pass the chips and guacamole.

      thats what he said

    2. I agree. Now if it was two chicks…

    3. Seriously. I always count on the Super Bowl to provide me four or so hours where I don’t have to worry about suppressing my latent homoeroticism.

    4. Pass the chips and guacamole.

      Don’t you mean chaps?

    5. Dunno. Turns me on. Then again I wouldn’t be caught dead watching the super bowl.

  4. Didn’t Focus on the Family just recently lay off like a ton of its staff? And now it’s airing superbowl ads that cost probably millions of dollars? Lame.

    1. somebody needs a stimulus/bailout.

      1. yonemoto|1.31.10 @ 4:55PM|#
        “somebody needs a stimulus…”
        Well, to a certain demographic, that’s what the mancrunch ad was supposed to do.

    2. I do not keep track of hiring and layoffs on FotF, but all the free publicity they are getting from their over-the-top critics saying things like “hate has no place in the Super Bowl” will probably yield a few million in new contributions. Best outcome for FotF – CBS pulls the ad and it gets shown over and over on news shows, they get a refund of $2 million and maybe even damages from the network, and then they parlay their victim status into even more contributions.

      1. Put simply–in deference to you, Kent–it’s like lasing a stick of dynamite.

        1. Yes, that is much more succinct.

          I have a soft spot – but not a mancrunch – in my heart for Tebow. His UF teams were 0-2 against Auburn, including the 2006 national championship team and the 2007 team on which TT won the Heisman.

          1. TT started crying after Bama beat them this year.

            If you ask me, TT should be doing commercials for Mancrunch.

    3. Ice,

      Exactly. Those evil advocates need to concentrate on employing stamp lickers instead of putting out a message.

  5. CBS can put whatever they want on their station. If it’s unicorns fornicating in chocolate sauce then so be it. If it’s two dudes lip wrestling for a tonsil hockey goal great. If its some religious dude happy mommy didn’t coat hanger his ass fine.

    The only problem is when they are forced to show or not to show something by government. They have to explain their actions about as much as I have to explain why I have a tattoo of a Winnie-the-Pooh shitting rainbows on my left nut and Garfield fellating Snoopy on my right nut.

      1. “Unicorn.” And it was a centaur, anyway.

      2. That’s a centaur, you goofball. Not a “unicron”, whatever that is.

        Regardless, the concept of “centaur Swayze” is completely awesome. And remember, BP, I used to fuck guys like you in prison.

        1. Episiarch, “refresh” refers to more than just your lover wiping his ass, just so you know.

        2. And remember, BP, I used to fuck guys like you in prison.

          LOLZ! Is that what the bottoms call it now?

        3. It’s a unicorn. His hands are just covering up the horn.

      3. way to gay up my thread you two. You didn’t even gentrify it some so I can’t even cash in. WTF?

        1. thread = threaded comment

          1. A stitch in time saves 69

    1. And advocacy groups can criticize CBS for airing or not airing certain ads. That’s the whole point of the First Amendment.

      1. Sure they can, but it’s pretty meaningless and ineffective and annoying to the rest of us to have to listen to the “advocacy groups'” constant whining.

  6. If it’s unicorns fornicating in chocolate sauce then so be it.

    That has NEA grant written all over it.

    1. Only if you add urine and a crucifix

  7. The signs in the background are great.

    no entry
    this equipment starts and stops automatically
    visitors subject to search before entry

  8. I’m not sure CBS, a sharecropper on government-owned spectrum that answers to an executive branch commission, is a private company.

    Da govermunt don’t own no damn airwaves. Dey regulate da shit out da spectrum, no doubt. But wez libertarians prefers nobody regulate dat stuff and wez just works it out wid a bunch o handshakes.

    1. Troll fail

  9. Who put up that Bud Light ad on the youtube? I haven’t seen production values that bad since Brody had Kramer bootleg Cry, Cry Again.

    and

    …if you used that Man Crunch script for a funny beer ad, nobody would have thought anything of it.

    Oh, reeeally?

  10. That Madtv skit was classic.

  11. Keith Olbermann is still on NBC’s Sunday-night football broadcast. Nothing is more offensive than that.

  12. On the other hand, CBS might want to rethink selling space to Man Crunch. You all know what happens when the gays move in? Gentrification, that’s what! That means higher property values on all those Super Bowl ad spaces, and more revenue for the network.

    1. good point. Damn those gay gentrifying gentlemen.

      1. Dramatized here.

        1. BP, you are a twisted soul.

  13. You know what’s an offensive ad? Bud Light’s “Amy” spot, in which a stalker wreckingballs a woman’s house and sets fire to her lawn…

    Lighten up, Tim. Nobody empathizes with the stalker. Appropriately enough, the point of it is, “Get a load of this creep.” Like Archie Bunker’s racism, it’s to be laughed at, not with.

    1. Indeed, I didn’t interpret that ad as condoning the behavior at all…in fact, they labeled it as “Too Heavy”.

      Also, it needs to be watched in context with the other ads in that campaign, like this one:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzsit1k4nXc

      1. A-ha! No sexism here. The campaign shows men and women going equally psycho in their relationships.

    2. We were supposed to laugh AT Archie Bunker’s racism? hmmm…

      1. Duh! Why else would they have taped it in front of a studio audience?

        1. Double duh on me! I didn’t get ADB’s joke at first.

  14. “ManCrunch”? I keep seeing this and saying “shouldn’t that be ManCrush”? I think they owe me an explanation.

    1. The explanation will be a knee between the legs.

    2. domain taken?

    3. Explain it to your non-linked persona MNG.

  15. running an ad showing two guys making out would have cost Budweiser some sales.

    Heineken, on the other hand…

    1. Is it too early to start making jokes about white Zinfandel?

      1. it’s never too early for white jokes.

      2. Dear Reason Magazine,

        Would it be right to serve Merlot at next week’s Superbowl?

        Yours truly,

        Jerry.

        1. You are fine as long as none of the teams are not wearing red. If they are it would clash and be so gaudy. You will want to get a nice brie or Spanish cheese like a Manchego.

          1. Tragic disaster averted. Imagine my embarrassment if you had gone looking for blue and or gold wine and then served it on my recommendation.

  16. Amy-stalking was a shovel-ready job, Tim. Stimulus money probably paid for the wrecking ball used in that stalking, which put contractors and laborers to work restoring the house, and got Home Depot’s Lawn & Garden Center some business as well. So STFU about the stalker.

  17. Is it too early to start making jokes about white Zinfandel?

    It’s never too early.

  18. The best part of the Bud Light ad is the DO NOT ATTEMPT disclaimer at :18.

  19. It seems like they could work “wreckingballs” into a Mancrunch ad that would be really offensive creative.

    Agree w/hmm – the signs in the background are killer.

  20. If I were going to avail myself of the services of a dating services, I would definitely steer clear of one which called itself Mancrunch.

    “Mancrunch” sounds like the screen name of a angrily prolific Feministing commentress.

    1. I think it’s a play on man-crush.

      1. I think it as duh as P Brooks thinks

  21. “If I were going to avail myself of the services of a dating services,”

    Good thing I proofread that. It might have been awkwardly worded, with misspelling.

  22. Re: the Mancrunch ad, I don’t think your criticism is valid. Nothing in the ad suggests that it’s taking place during the Super Bowl.

  23. “The most offensive thing in the Man Crunch ad is that the Packers and the Vikings are not playing in Super Bowl 44, nor could they, since they’re in the same conference. (I’m pretty sure it’s gay not to know that.)” Crap. I didn’t know that and I like dick. OTOH, I am pretty sure if I knew the conference teams and I didn’t like dick, I would be gay. Surely Tim doesn’t think only men read Reason?

    1. I guess he assumed all you lovely ladies read the sister magazine, Unreason.

      1. Am I right, fellas?

        [awkward silence]

        1. Sorry, Fist… My wife reads the comments here and she knows my user name. As much as I’d like to back you up, I’m more concerned with not sleeping on the couch tonight.

          1. Nothing like hearing about a well trained man.? Her fuck housekeeping poster is in the mail.

          2. Don’t forget to iron Her skirt before bed tonight.

        2. C+. You needed to add something regarding nagging, uterus = hysterical, or a crack at the WNBA.

          1. Episiarch, you needed to add that you can give advice because you never get laid anyway.

            1. Wow, that was even easier than I expected.

                1. You are right. MNG has never been laid.

      2. “I just think of a man, and take away reason and accountability.”

    2. Uh, Tim? I think you’ve been busted.

  24. I saw Vivian Girls opening for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a few years ago. They got alot better.

    1. Do they have penises?
      Like the REAL Vivian Girls?

  25. That was a hell of a noun verbing there, Tim.

  26. If you’re going to do this article, do it right. The greatest coupling of gayness and the NFL ever: the Tom Brady song.

  27. OK I am both gay and reasonably pro-life

    The Mancrunch ad looks very cheaply made.
    (parenthetically, and seriously how likely is it that Vikings Boy is going get all over the Packers cub? I mean c’mon)

    The company submitted that ad with every expectation that it would not be allowed by CBS practices.

    With as little as they appear to have put into the ad, they’ve made their money back in the media exposure.

    And the site itself, doesn’t seem to be on the cutting edge of web design either.

    On their sign-up page (I didn’t follow through and create a profile) here was the following:

    “Man Crunch is the premier service connecting men with other men and allowing them to open up about the down low.”

    What the fuck- “Premier service”? I have never heard of the company before the controversy.

    “connecting men with other men and allowing them to open up about the down low” About the Down-Low, huh? What is this site supposed to be, a site for closet cases and married men.

    And finally, there is a well established hook-up site “Manhunt” that might have a trademark issue with “Mancrunch”.

    Does that name pass the “horny queen in a hurry” test?

    1. we’re all just gonna ignore the obvious “packers” jokes?

  28. The most offensive thing in the Man Crunch ad is that the Packers and the Vikings are not playing in Super Bowl 44, nor could they, since they’re in the same conference. (I’m pretty sure it’s gay not to know that.)

    I’m pretty sure it’s gay not to know that.

    Duly noted that I am not supposed to know anything about the NFL.

    http://www.outsports.com/

  29. Outsports has an article wondering if the ad wasn’t a hoax in any event:

    http://outsports.com/jocktalkb…..-bad-hoax/

    “For everyone (including myself) who wanted to say CBS’s potential rejection of the Mancrunch ad featuring two men kissing implied some homophobia, I present you evidence to another possibility: This is a terrible ad. It’s clear the site owners had absolutely no intention of this ever making it to the air; It wouldn’t pass the test to make it to air except after 3 a.m. and before 4 a.m.

    As for the gay content of the ad, it’s marginal. It’s clear the guys in the ad aren’t even kissing. At this point, I’m assuming the whole ad and Mancrunch itself are a hoax. See the ad and weigh in, after the jump.

    This doesn’t mean that homophobia wasn’t at work. But I personally would have rejected the ad just based on the creative…….”

  30. Oh, and the MadTV boys are Hot, even if straight (they kiss like straight guys, surely Michael McDonald could have given pointers)

    1. For the love of god man, that is the best unintentional anti-threaded comment protest I have seen.

  31. While it’s pretty clear to me that the Mancrush ad was just a sacrificial lamb for the gay community to bash CBS over, it’s kind of hard to see how that ad is branded inappropriate when the fairly risque GoDaddy.com ads, featuring women stripping down to their undies and dialing it up to 11 on the bouncy-bouncy meter, are approved every year.

    1. i feel that cbs could make the case that it was the quality of the adbuy not its content that they objected to.

      White certainly no Clio Awards nominee (by far) at least the GoDaddy ads show some production value.

      However I remember being incensed at last year’s GoDaddy ad. It severely degraded my opinion of both the company _and_ Danica Patrick.

  32. And finally, McGarrett Rocks!

  33. And even within the constraints of broadcast television, CBS has never stood out as particulary forward-looking. (I’m pretty sure the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0 is the last time CBS was really Far Out.)

    You know Nipplegate was on CBS, right?

  34. OG is it time for the Superbowl AGAIN? I never could understand the infatuation men have with watching a bunch of overpaid, grown men in tights running around chasing some stupid ball. I just dont get it.

    Sandi
    http://www.be-invisible.es.tc

    1. Anonymity bot needs to get on Mancrunch ASAP.

    2. Looks like anon bot is a Lions fan.

  35. Reality is the name we give to our disappointments.

  36. Mancrunch Rejection would be a great band name.

  37. Super bowl, Super bowl!
    You stolen ma soul!
    February were waiting,
    And now has come.
    And think of attending,
    Much games not some.
    Miami under lights
    Will offer more delights.
    I already got ma tix from Ticketwood.com and waiting impatiently for the games.

  38. Packers vs Pirates, most gay game ever?

  39. The real problem with that ad is that it’s obviously a cheap production, and it’s not really funny or anything.

  40. Seeing two gay guys kiss, is better than hearing, “an erection lasting more than 4 hours…” every other commercial.

  41. don’t forget this brilliant parody summer of tears did of football. thinks it sums up everything brilliantly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0d0pQgLNws

  42. MediaCurves.com just conducted a study with 602 viewers of a news clip regarding the Focus on the Family organizations’ Super Bowl ad. Results found that while the majority of viewers (62%) reported that the ad should not be pulled, pro-choice viewers were split on whether it should be aired. The majority of pro-life viewers (75%) indicated that the Super Bowl was an appropriate platform for controversial ads regarding social issues, while the majority of pro-choice viewers (66%) reported that the Super Bowl was not an appropriate platform.
    More in-depth results can be seen at:
    http://www.mediacurves.com/Adv…../Index.cfm
    Thanks,
    Ben

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