NBC pulls “Sexy” PETA’s Superbowl ad

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Amidst the competitive and often drunken excitement and revelry that always accompanies Superbowl season in the US, another page has popped up in the confusing battle between vegetarians and meat-eaters: NBC pulled PETA‘s Superbowl ad from its line-up. Stating that the ad was too sexually explicit, the network turned down the no doubt lucrative deal, enraging PETA’s already frighteningly zealous following to the point of madness.

You can view the video here:


I’m not one to shy away from contradictions in my life- as a feminist who loves having doors opened for her, an animal lover who believes in biomedical testing, and a vegetarian whose friends may love bacon more than they love her, I constantly find myself re-drawing my moral boundary lines in my head. This ad is indeed quite racy. It’s weird to see women getting busy with their veggies. But then again, when you really think about it, it’s weird to watch beer being poured all over a woman’s shirt, also. It’s weird to see Conan O’Brien crawling down a catwalk wearing red vinyl. It’s weird to watch two men almost kiss while eating a Snickers. These are all images that have appeared in past or present Superbowl ads. Why is this one any worse?

Even discounting the animal rights issues that often accompany it, vegetarianism is a very controversial topic. This is because extreme advocacy groups such as PETA have elevated it to the point of high morality- vegetarians are morally on higher ground. It’s gotten to the point where even dedicated meat-eaters consider a person more reliable simply because they don’t eat meat. This bias often comes with resentment. 

1x1.trans NBC pulls Sexy PETAs Superbowl adConsidering the moral status given to the entire concept of vegetarianism in our society, it’s not surprising that there has been such a backlash against this PETA ad. It would be like showing a bunch of Catholic priests doing crazy sexual things…wait…bad example…

Anyway, it’s only natural that we feel uncomfortable with the pairing of explicit sex (something Americans have a hard time accepting in general) with a position considered to be on moral high ground. It confuses the absolute sense of right and wrong our society continues to insist exists. It is not at ALL surprising that this ad was pulled. On the one hand, it’s not fair that beer and car companies are allowed to exploit sex in a completely unrelated context to the product they’re selling while veggies get screwed. Although not literally.

On the other hand, if PETA toned it down and presented a balanced, well researched position to the public about how vegetarianism can integrate into a healthy, fun lifestyle, perhaps Americans wouldn’t be so quick to group vegetarians in with Catholic priests. Take it from a vegetarian- we have way more fun than Catholic priests.

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1x1.trans NBC pulls Sexy PETAs Superbowl ad
1x1.trans NBC pulls Sexy PETAs Superbowl ad
Antonio Evans is a Partner at Binary Bits, the parent company of FriendsEAT.com. He currently is CEO of Socialdraft, a powerful reputation management tool for local businesses.
1x1.trans NBC pulls Sexy PETAs Superbowl ad
1x1.trans NBC pulls Sexy PETAs Superbowl ad
1x1.trans NBC pulls Sexy PETAs Superbowl ad

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