Update It has been confirmed: CBS approved the script of the Tim Tebow commercial, despite their previous "No Advocacy in Advertising" policy.
CBS executives approved a script for a Super Bowl spot from evangelical group Focus on the Family, which suggests the ad will not carry a pro-life message -- at least an overt one.
The network has a policy of prohibiting advocacy ads, even ones that carry an "implicit" endorsement for a side in a public debate. A CBS spokesman did say the network will review the video version of the spot before giving it the final green light, but does not anticipate any hurdles.
The former Florida quarterback and his mother will appear in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl next month. The Christian group Focus on the Family says the Tebows will share a personal story centering on the theme “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”
The group isn’t releasing details, but the commercial is likely to be an anti-abortion message chronicling Pam Tebow’s 1987 pregnancy. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim.
The Bleacherreport says Tim Tebows anti-abortion ad is a travesty.
Not only will this Super Bowl ad be a travesty because of all the controversy it will cause, but Focus on the Family is abusing Tim Tebow's celebrity status to force-feed a political agenda down America's throat. Over 95 million people watch the Super Bowl every year. In a study by Starcom MediaVest Group where 500 Super Bowl viewers were surveyed, it was discovered that almost 96% of Super Bowl viewers are potential voters (ages 18+). This in turn provides almost 96% of Super Bowl viewers to have their opinion swayed by a star football player that they likely see on ESPN every other day being praised for his humanitarian work and his "role model" status. It is not likely that every person who sees this advertisement will be in awe of Tebow's celebrity status, change their opinion on the matter and go vote based on that. However, there will be people who are influenced by Tebow and there will be people who make a decision on the "Pro Life vs Pro Choice" debate in the voting booths because of this advertisement. If it was my mother and I in the ad, would people care? Probably not.
Nestled between the beer horse farts and Danica Patrick stripping, political ads are rare during the superbowl, mainly because the price of a 30-second spot prohibits smaller players from buying time. In 2008 no presidential candidate ads were allowed. One year later CatholicVote.org had this ad, featuring president Obama rejected.
But a change is gonna come, as gossiped at the Gaggle: From Beer Ads to Political Spots: Will a Supreme Court Case Change the Future of Super Bowl Commercials?
In the past, federal election laws have prohibited unions and corporations from using funds to support political candidates. But the Court has been asked to rethink that position. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the justices will decide the constitutionality of limiting corporations' independent spending during campaigns for the presidency and Congress. Depending on the decision, it's possible that unions and corporations could start pouring loads of money into the advertising arena.
The question is; will political messages stick to the beer-and-sports addled brains of viewers? Serious ads at the superbowl always have a feel of gatecrashing the party, this one excepted.