The Super Bowl has a long tradition of running unusual, creative and sometimes over-the-top commercials — but this one reportedly went a bit too far.
84 Lumber, a family-owned building supplies company, was forced to modify its ad for its failure to comply with NFL standards.
It decided to tackle the subject of illegal immigration, by depicting a Mexican mother and daughter making their trek northward to cross the border to the United States in search of a better life.
At the end the two come across an imposing border wall, much like the one President Donald Trump has promised to construct.
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Fox Sports nixed the final scene depicting the wall, citing “concerns about some elements” of the ad, on the grounds that it was overly political.
Rob Shapiro, the chief client officer at the agency that produced the ad, said ads should produce conversation.
“Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,” Shapiro told The Washington Post. “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”
The company ran the ad without the final scene, but encouraged viewers to watch it in its entirety, and made available online.
Folks on social media had other suggestions for the 84 Lumber ad.
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@thehill Ad shd be woman/child applying to lawfully enter US. Pledging allegiance/becoming citizens, starting business, graduating, thankful
— Matt (@ma77gauthier) February 6, 2017
@thehill How come 84 Lumber didn’t celebrate the 5 hard years my wife put in- like millions of others did before her- to come here LEGALLY?
— Michael Openshaw (@mopenshaw) February 6, 2017
@thehill maybe they could have just shown all the walls around 84 lumber yards that protect their facilities, equipment, etc – Hypocrites
— Archangel (@Arch_Angel9999) February 6, 2017
Others observed that the move by Fox Sports had precedent stemming from the NFL.
@thehill As they should. There’s been a long tradition of SB broadcasters not airing any blatant politically motivated ads
— Right Wing Extremist (@BeardyMcJ) February 6, 2017
@thehill no the NFL has a political entanglement policy
— corey (@CoreyChrstnsn) February 6, 2017
Still another said everyone, including Fox Sports, was missing the point. It wasn’t about the wall at all.
@thehill Shame they couldn’t show it on air.Yes it was about the wall, but it was more about the door.
— Sheila Devitt (@sdevitt3477) February 6, 2017
Here’s the version of the ad edited for broadcast during the Super Bowl. The full version is above.
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