Today media outlets reported that CBS rejected a Super Bowl commercial that would’ve promoted the benefits of medical marijuana. Many cannabis advocates were angry, and many pointed out the hypocrisy of CBS not allowing a marijuana ad while showing dozens of beer and other alcohol themed commercials during the game. But besides the hypocrisy of allowing beer and liquor commercials and not cannabis, there have also been many controversial Super Bowl commercials that were way more offensive than a pro-marijuana ad.
Here are six controversial Super Bowl commercials that were allowed:
1. Don’t Get an Abortion or Tim Tebow Will Never Exist
During the height of Tebowmania, a Super Bowl commercial was aired featuring Tebow’s mother as she talked about how Tim “almost didn’t make it into this world.” Tebow’s mother was advised to get an abortion when she was pregnant, and while the commercial doesn’t mention abortion, it is an advertisement for a pro-life organization. So subtly hinting that abortion is bad is ok, but not marijuana.
2. Dead Boy
In 2015 Nationwide ran a largely criticized ad where a boy talks about all things he’ll never do in life, and then he reveals he’s dead from an accident. So get insurance or your kid will die in a tragic accident. The ad may be trying to highlight an important issue, but it’s still bad taste to do so while also selling insurance.
3. Martin Luther King Jr. Wants You to Buy a Ram
This ad actually was aired last year, where a speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. about inspiration ends with an ad for Dodge Ram trucks. The ad is in bad taste because this was during a time where many were criticizing black athletes for taking a stand against police brutality, which is the kind of issue Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve supported. Also, King actually bashed car companies in this same exact speech that is used in the ad.
4. Timothy Hutton Mocks Tibet
The commercial begins with Timothy Hutton talking about how the Tibetans are losing the culture, primarily as a result of authoritarian practices by the Chinese government. And then Hutton is like, “LOL, who cares about that when I can get a Groupon deal for a Tibetan restaurant in my area?” I think it’s supposed to be a joke about commercials that try to use important issues to sell their products, but it comes off more like a joke about how Tibetan people are suffering.
5. Men Hate Their Lives, But At Least They Have Trucks
This is sort of like a reverse of that controversial Gillette commercial that came out a few weeks ago. In this 2010 Super Bowl commercial, men basically complain about how their lives suck and they have to deal with all this stupid nonsense with their lives, but they put up with it because at least they can drive their truck! Besides being insulting to women for insinuating men only put up with them for ulterior motives, it also just assumes that men don’t enjoy doing some of the things on this list. Like walking their dog. Who doesn’t like their dog?
6. Buy a GM Car or This Robot Will Kill Itself
This is actually a super old ad from around 2007. In the commercial, a robot that works on a car assembly line loses its job, and it gets so distraught that it ends up jumping off a bridge to kill itself. Now, it turns out it’s just a dream, but that sort of makes light of people who do consider or commit suicide. It should also be noted that these types of robots have led to thousands of people working in the car manufacturing industry losing their jobs, so it’s also like GM is trying to humanize these robots to make it better that they laid off a bunch of real humans with real lives and real problems.
But yeah, apparently all of these are totally cool and acceptable, but even mentioning that marijuana may have medical benefits is not ok.