All was surprisingly quiet this year on the "They Censored My Super Bowl Ad" front ... until Friday, when Alex Bogusky tweeted that CBS had rejected the Super Bowl spot he was working on for SodaStream.
Every year, the Super Bowl attracts some of the best and most high-priced advertising in the world. But it also lures a horde of publicity-seekers claiming their commercials have been censored or rejected by the host network. In nearly all cases, the complaining marketers never really had a shot at the Super Bowl, thanks to shoddy production values, truly objectionable content and, more often than not, the inability to pony up more than $3 million for an ad. And it's a common occurrence for the network to ask event sponsors to tweak or edit the content for a variety of reasons (which also can yield a PR bonanza if a sponsor cries foul -- just ask serial offender GoDaddy.com). But SodaStream, a mainstream advertiser that some time ago purchased a spot in the game's fourth quarter, said this wasn't a PR gambit. So what's the issue? The content of its planned commercial seemed to have concerned CBS because it was a direct hit at two other Super Bowl sponsors and heavy network TV
advertisers: Coke and Pepsi
SodaStream, which sells home soda-making machines, has already run afoul of authorities in the U.K. for a Bogusky-crafted spot indicating its product is more environmentally friendly than established sodas; the spot shows branded bottles and cans of soft drinks exploding into thin air. For the Super Bowl, it hoped to up the ante with a spot depicting truck drivers clad in clothing with Coca-Cola and Pepsi marks on them, according to Ilan Nacasch, SodaStream's chief marketing officer. "We really tried to comply with the standards" set by CBS, he said. At the same time, he added, "We were...