My take on the Superbowl boycott

Quite a number of people are upset about CBS’s ad-sales decisions about the Superbowl and have called for a boycott or direct complaints to CBS.

I don’t like it either. I don’t like the hypocrisy of denying the United Church of Christ a spot because of their activism (anyone can attend their churches, even gays) but allowing the Tebow ad, sponsored by Focus on the Family. Or selling space a nasty anti-gay candy bar ad two (or was it three?) years ago, but not allowing a gay dating service — Mancrunch; sounds like a candy bar — the same.

But I have a hard time getting worked up. I never watch the Superbowl, and reviewing the stated advertisers have a hard time thinking of those — apart perhaps Coke — that I buy often enough to give up in a boycott. (Indeed, I’ve already boycotted domain registrar GoDaddy for its president’s go-go-Gitmo beliefs, Hooters-quality advertising and miserable terms of service. Use instead.) Why spend social capital using my spending power, pitting big corporations against others. Not my fight. And the wrong approach. (I would complain to the candy bar company if that ad was current. But the Fairness doctrine is dead — such a shame — so there’s no trying to appeal to that.)

The CBS use of the public airwaves to perpetuate anti-gay bias in CBS’s business is my business. God knows the Right uses FCC complaints to get attention to what jerks their chain. Time to learn FCC regulations and get used to making complaints where it might get some attention.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Given that:

    A. I’m not much of a boycotter anyway.


    B. The Saints being in the Superbowl is really, really important and meaningful to folks in New Orleans and I still have buddies there,

    I’m going to be watching. But I totally get where you’re coming from.


  2. As a major football fan I must say that I will be watching the game but will (as I always do) boycott the commercials. I think I am not alone. The people who watch for the game will do what they do every Sunday. Commercials are for going to the bathroom and getting more salsa.

    The folks who watch the commercials are the people who are watching the game because they think they have to. Their bathroom/salsa/(to much) beer run is often during the game, itself. They probably don’t even know that Tebow won’t be starting for anyone next year.

    Heck, I even missed the wardrobe malfunction a few years ago…

  3. On the other hand, isn’t this great publcity for the UCC? If the UCC advert is banned, that’s presumably getting them huge amounts of publicity, and anyone interested could no doubt find the advert online.

    The best publicity UK Unitarians have got in recent years was when we were thrown out of Chester Cathedral.

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