Jan 29, 2009

Mktg - PETA's racy ad sparks controversy again, banned

Bithika Khargarhia

New York, January 28: A PETA commercial produced to promote vegetarianism has been deemed too sexual for the Super Bowl by the American television network NBC, which has placed a ban on the ad.

Produced by the Norfolk, Va.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the 30-second commercial features scantily clad female models clutching fresh produce.

The advert shows four lingerie models holding their vegetables including pumpkin, asparagus, broccoli and bok choy in a sexy way, and ends with the tagline "Studies show vegetarians have better sex".

NBC, which will be broadcasting Super Bowl XLIII, has refused to broadcast the PETA ad because of its sexually explicit nature. The network has asked the animal right group to make some necessary changes.

PETA said it has received an e-mail from NBC's vice president of Advertising Standards, listing eight objectionable portions of the video, including "rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin," and "licking eggplant" among others that the network says would need to be edited before broadcast.

In response to NBC’s ban on their advert, PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said: “It’s ridiculous that this commercial was banned from NBC. Sure, it’s sexy, sure it’s provocative… [But], the bottom line for this ad was that studies show that vegetarians have better sex.

“We got an email that was so sexually explicit it make PETA blush – which is hard to do – outlining several things that they’re insisting we remove from our TV spot.”

This is not the first time PETA’s ad has sparked the controversy or has been banned from the airwaves, as it has been criticized for some of its other campaigns too, including the famous "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" ads.

The buzz is that PETA has refused to edit sexually explicit content and is now approaching other networks about running the ad.

PETA is a non-profit animal rights organization whose slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."

The organization focuses on four main issues: factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment, and works hard to promote vegetarianism and veganism, cruelty-free products, and alternatives to animal experimentation

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