Monday, February 07, 2005

The $2.5 million refund

Most discussions of Super Bowl ads drain my life force, but this is interesting. paid to have their spot run twice during the game but it got pulled after the first airing. The NFL was so appalled after seeing the spot's first appearance, they called FOX and convinced the network not to run it again. didn't find out about it until after the game.

This makes no sense. The spot was being talked about for weeks leading up to the game, as company founder Bob Parsons breathlessly recounts on his blog. Why didn't the NFL react sooner? Why didn't Fox -- who had already rejected questionable ads -- react sooner?

The spot was stupid and although Parsons claims otherwise, it didn't always impress viewers. But the company did buy two slots and up to game time, had every reason to believe they were good to go. Seems awfully dodgy, then, on the league's part and on Fox's part to be shocked, shocked by the spot.

UPDATE: Daniel Drezner has more. I'll only add that I don't think it's unreasonable for Fox or the NFL to reject ads. The NFL was livid that a Las Vegas tourism spot ran during last year's Super Bowl -- reasonable, given that a pro sport never wants to be associated with gambling. But to not have pre-screened the spot when it got so much pre-game hype was egregiously lazy on the part of the NFL.

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