Quick Hit: PETA’s Ad Banned from the Super Bowl

PETA’s incredibly ridiculous ad trying to convince all those hot wing munchers to convert to vegetarianism during the Super Bowl has been rejected. Shocker. It contains thin white woman prancing around in their underwear rubbing vegetables all over their perfectly toned bodies. I’m not even going to post the video, cause it’s, well, inane. Suffice it to say that, once again, PETA proves it has no notion of intersectional exploitation.
Thanks to all the readers who let us know. Why can’t PETA spend some of that money hiring community blogger lorenc to talk about his actual experience being a dude vegetarian? See his smart post below.
And other community posters take:
Peta’s New Strategy
Peta Denied Commercial Airtime

and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

64 Comments

  1. Erikasf
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    A PETA publicity stunt, pure and simple. I can’t help but think what better use PETA should have for the money it cost to make this ad. And it would cost them an additional $3 million to air the ad.
    I like some racy commercials, but this one is like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue: all women and no men. They are not selling sex, but rather the sight of very young, very skinny women.
    Lest we forget, CBS refused to air a Moveon.org ad during the Superbowl a few years ago. Not because the ad was sexual, but because CBS was refusing to air any ‘issue’ ads, even though they did air anti-drug propaganda during the game the same year.
    What bothers me most about this stuff is that it reminds us that the television industry is controlled by very rich, very white men who care nothing about the rest of us.

  2. rhowan
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Given that you can see a woman’s naked breast in this video (it’s brief and slightly out of focus, but you can still see nipple) I don’t believe for an instant that PETA was seriously expecting to get this aired during the Superbowl.
    What they wanted (and what they successfully got) was to have the cachet of having a Banned Superbowl Commercial. They wanted everyone talking about it on the news and in the blogosphere and watching it on youtube. For petes sake they already have a website up featuring the Vegie Love ad along with a collection of their other “Too Hot for TV” commercials.
    PETA firmly believes that any press is good press. They feed on our outrage, they love it when we talk about them.

  3. DeafBrownTrashPunk
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    PETA is such a joke. I support animal rights (although I’m not a vegan, but I would like to be one), and well, because of PETA, nobody takes animal rights seriously.
    PETA can go fuck itself.

  4. daniel
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    The ad itself is bad enough; PETA’s big stupid fuss about it being rejected from a coveted TV time slot just brings on the hype, and leads to ordinarily respectable news sources (the Post) giving it notice — in this case, via quoting – dipshit bloggers:
    “Normally, I could care less what PETA has to say about anything. But when they use hot models to get their message across, I pay attention. Not that I listen to the message anyway. I suddenly want a salad.”
    Ugh.

  5. Ariel
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    PETA would get more respect if they actually did something other than publicity stunts, like, say, raise money or propose a bill to a legislature. I don’t even think the PETA administration takes itself seriously.

  6. allan
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    LOL @ daniel for taking my post so seriously. Lighten up.

  7. sly
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    There’s a distinct difference between using sex to sell, and being sexist. It was a tad more suggestive than the beer commercials we typically see during S. Bowl ads, but just a tad more. This particular PETA ad is not sexist.

  8. dormouse
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    PETA: Treat animals with respect, but it’s ok to treat women like meat….
    I’m a vegetarian, and I hate PETA. They give all of us a bad image.

  9. dormouse
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    PETA: Treat animals with respect, but it’s ok to treat women like meat….
    I’m a vegetarian, and I hate PETA. They give all of us a bad image.

  10. Haley
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I am so tired of PETA giving vegans or those into animal rights a bad name.
    I feel like they should all read Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation again. Actually, everyone should read that book. It’s fantastic! :)

  11. kissmypineapple
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    There may be a difference between using sex to sell and being sexist, but when women only are used to sell things, then I see no difference. The commodification of women is never acceptable, and it is always sexist.

  12. rhowan
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    To be fair PETA does use men in some of their ad campaigns. But yes, skinny “attractive” scantily clad women are definitely the gross majority, and the men usually seem like an afterthought.

  13. Cassius
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Whats wrong with naked skin ? Seriously I would worry more about violence in the media.
    And what if a mother has to feed her baby somewhere public and has nowhere to hide ? Do we ban her too ?

  14. onely
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    See all the comments above to know what’s wrong with naked skin in this context (esp. rowan, kissmypineapple, and sly’s discussion of Peta’s use of men vs their use of women).
    Exposed breasts of mothers feeding their children are (generally) not exploitative and objectifying. It’s natural and healthy, and most of us have been part of such a setup at some point. And despite this, women *are* banned from breastfeeding in many situations. So the message we get is: it’s ok to be naked, but only for people’s (read: men’s) entertainment.
    Sigh.
    –CC

  15. Cassius
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Wait, so being naked for one reason is wrong, but being naked for another reason is not only okay, if that person exposing herself to feed her child is asked to retreat somewhere private to do it, it is reason for protest ?
    If you judge poorly something in one context and okay it if it happens in another context does that not make you a hypocrite ?
    Also what is your problem with nakedness for entertainment ? I am sure women who get naked to entertain men are compensated for their services and are therefore not exploited.
    Maybe its an American thing we do not understand, like selling ammo at the supermarket :p

  16. Cassius
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Posing in front of the camera is not commodification of women. Buying and selling women is commodification of women, which is happening and is part of women trafficking.

  17. Roxanne
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    They do it for attention. They know attractive, young women will get attention. Especially with the average Super Bowl viewer. Any attention positive or negative attracts attention to the ad and therefore some people take in the message. Whether the message is taken to heart is up to the viewer. They always make controversial ads because they know they’re going to get banned and something that is banned is going to get even more attention.

  18. wowcabbage
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Not necessarily. For example, is it okay to hit someone when they’re buying something from a store? Not really. It wouldn’t make any sense.
    Is it okay to hit someone when they’re trying to steal your child? Perhaps not completely okay, but in this context, very few people will say you did a whole lot wrong.
    It’s the same action, but in a different context it can mean different things. I don’t consider that hypocritical. I think it’s important to take into account the situation, the intent behind the action, and the outcome of the action.
    As for this ad, I don’t have any strong feelings. Mostly, I just rolled my eyes and moved on. I’m indifferent to PETA, because I feel like they don’t even try to do things that make sense any more. I don’t think they care if people actually listen to them, as long as they’re yelling as loudly as they can.
    You can be “compensated” for your services, yet still be exploited. Many prostitutes worldwide are paid. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t exploited. A child in a brothel earns money for his/her work, but I don’t think many would argue that the child made a free choice to participate in much of the work he or she does.

  19. ShifterCat
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Uh, I think that blogger’s point was that advertising about an issue in a way that has nothing to do with that issue is ineffective. It certainly sounded like sarcasm to me.

  20. ShifterCat
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Change the phrasing to “isn’t necessarily commodification” and I’d fully agree.
    Someone portraying themselves as a sexual being on-camera? I can think of plenty of cases in which (I would argue) it’s not commodification. But in PETA’s case I think it is, because they’re basically saying, “Become a vegan and you’ll be rewarded with pussy!”
    It’s peddling a concept of available (conventionally attractive) females rather than trafficking in actual humans, but the fact is that they’re perpetuating a “men=mule, women=carrot” standard. Not cool.
    And in this case, not effective, either.

  21. vaseline
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Cassius, I really don’t think onely was trying to say that being naked for purely sexual reasons is wrong, nor that breast feeding is the only acceptable way to show breasts. I think the point was simply that female nudity is, for some reason, inappropriate when it’s not for the male gaze. Boobs are everywhere and most people are not that offended by it, but if they see a woman breast feeding a child, they’ll be personally offended and then *ban* breast feeding in public places.
    The point is why? Why are boobs acceptable for getting someone off, but if a woman wants to simply feed her baby outside somewhere, everyone has to act like the action is inappropriate and wrong? Breast feeding is just showing the actual function of breasts, which is feeding a baby. A society that views breasts as being solely sexual is too obsessed and uptight about sex.

  22. likkksss
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    I Hate PETA!

  23. Megs
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    This is about PETA’s constantly throwing women under the bus to accomplish it’s goals.
    I don’t understand why they feel that it is okay to degrade women in their publicity stunts if it gets their point across for many reasons. One being why could they not make that same point using men; another reason being is what is their point?…because at this point I wonder if they even know…
    These type of publicity stunts and commercials do nothing to help their cause; if they were truly worried about their cause then create commercials or ads that connect with the average viewer and not in a totally “ha ha boobies” way because that is insulting both as a woman and as a viewer they are trying to reach…do they really think we as viewers are that shallow?…
    Also a woman breast feeding her child in public should be allowed to do it whenever and where ever she needs to, and when she is it isn’t exploitive it’s a mother feeding her child…she isn’t feeding her baby to make a point she’s feeding her baby, because she/he is hungry…Breast feeding isn’t at all degrading…so the comparison is off…

  24. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Why do you feel that showing women nude is degrading to them. And if you are worried that what one or a couple of women do reflects negatively on all women, shouldnt you be far more concerned about the women who steal like cheat or murder first ? I would say a woman who steals reflects more poorly on womanhood than a woman who gets nude.
    Also being from Europe I do not get the whole nake woman=degrading concept, but I understand that despite the way some of America is portrayed in the country, it is a very prude society. So maybe as an liberal European I would require some explanation to understand the concept of naked flesh = degrading.

  25. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    No, it isnt about agreeing or not agreeing. Those words are fixed with no room of interpretation. If you render a service for money you render a service. If you are being bought or sold for money, THEN you become indeed a commodity. A prostitute who offers sex for money renders a service. A woman who is sold from from one trafficer to another has become a commodity.
    Taking existing words and watering down and distort the meaning of those words only brings confusion to a conversation.
    If we would take it seriously that PETA treats women as commodity we would have a human trafficking case on our hands.

  26. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    So you are saying PETA should try and force its beliefes through bills upon people ? I disagree, trying to persuade people into not eating meat is what PETA should do, now if you do not think that their ads will do any good at this I guess everybody has an opinion on that.

  27. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    But the ad was banned because of nudity the way I understand it, so nakedness is not accepted either way, for entertainment and as a necessity when breastfeeding, or am I wrong ?
    Despite its past my country is quite liberal on the subject, we have mixed sauna legal prostitution skancily clad women advertising for women underwear, so I do not quite get the whole concept of naked woman = exploitation, or why it is bad that men are entertained by naked women. I assume you are an american, maybe you can explain me the concept if you have time ?

  28. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    However the result of service redndered can become a commodity. The woman isnt a commodity, but the playboy is one and the pics in it I assume.

  29. Theaetetus
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Whats wrong with naked skin ? Seriously I would worry more about violence in the media.
    And what if a mother has to feed her baby somewhere public and has nowhere to hide ? Do we ban her too ?

    You know, on other boards, people get banned for blatant threadjacking like you do in every thread.
    Here’s a hint, Cassius – see the headline up top? See the story? Comment on those.

  30. Theaetetus
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Despite its past my country is quite liberal on the subject, we have mixed sauna legal prostitution skancily clad women advertising for women underwear, so I do not quite get the whole concept of naked woman = exploitation, or why it is bad that men are entertained by naked women.
    What is the percentage of female to male prostitutes in your country? What is the standard of living and societal acceptance for a prostitute? In your country, is it the type of career that men and women look forward to embarking upon as teenagers? Is it the type of profession that you would consider, or that you would recommend for your sons or daughters?
    Answer those and then we’ll move on to the question of exploitation.

  31. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Well when you leave the airport of cologne and go to a cab on the door of the mercedes cab (most cabs in Germany are mercedes) the biggest brothel of Cologne is advertised on the door, so it can not be all that bad.
    I do not see how the percentage of male vs. female in a profession reflects on a job. Would you say nursing is somehow bad because mostly women are involved in that job, or secretary ?

  32. jane
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Actually, what’s always bothered me is the fact that I could put up a photo of breasts, but that if I expose my own real breasts I would be arrested for exposing myself.

  33. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Excuse me, but it was not me who started talking about the exploitation of women. I merely replied to somebody who posted on that line because I was trying to get her point and what it has to do with the thread.
    I do not see how I highjack threads, I feel mostly they have been on thopic and I do not think I have been offensive or innapropriate and I really do not think to be attacked and threatend the way you just did.

  34. llevinso
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Seriously, I have never seen one positive comment come out of Cassius’ mouth (read:posts) about this site or anything related to feminism at all. I don’t know if they are a troll or simply do not get it but it’s rather obnoxious.

  35. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Okay seen as how I have been critized for replying to people Ill start from scratch. I admit it can lead the discussion away from the article.
    I feel it is quite silly to ban an ad because naked flesh can be seen in it, especially if you consider that in the same media children see far worse things. If violence is okay but nakedness is a nono I feel something is wrong.
    I admit to not see the authors point of nakedness being inane, but I do understand that America is a prude country, so maybe I just lack the background to connect to the author, being a German resident.
    There might be better ways to get peoples attention to their cause than naked women, though I can not think of any right now, but iam not so sure blogging alone would get Peta the attention it has gotten with the campaigns they had so far and while getting attention for a cause does not mean people will jump on board, the more people you reach the greater is the possibility that some will jump on board.

  36. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I admit to being a critic poster. If an article comments on person X having done wrong for having said X in the media Iam less likely to post that I agree with it because others have done so already.
    However if I see that a site that labels itself feminists criticises women for their choices I must say it puzzles me and I am more likely to comment on the topic.
    I admit that posting only critically is not very nice for the authors. Ill make sure to post on some articles I agree with as well.

  37. Theaetetus
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Well when you leave the airport of cologne and go to a cab on the door of the mercedes cab (most cabs in Germany are mercedes) the biggest brothel of Cologne is advertised on the door, so it can not be all that bad.
    I do not see how the percentage of male vs. female in a profession reflects on a job. Would you say nursing is somehow bad because mostly women are involved in that job, or secretary

    Nursing and secretarial work have traditionally been accorded lower status within our culture – hence the term “pink collar” work. This does not mean they are “bad”, to use your term, but rather that they lack the same societal respect as many other professions.
    But you know that, and you’re deliberately not answering my questions. Your note about the fact that prostitutes are advertised on taxi cabs so the profession “can not be all that bad” did not answer any of my questions: would you consider becoming a prostitute, would you urge your son or daughter to become a prostitute, and is it a profession that many teenagers aspire to assume?
    Stop dancing around the questions and answer them, Cassius. I think you’re afraid to do so because it will become immediately clear that your assertion that prostitution in your country lacks an exploitative element is blatantly false.

  38. Theaetetus
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I admit it can lead the discussion away from the article.
    I feel it is quite silly to ban an ad because naked flesh can be seen in it

    That’s not what the article’s about, Cassius. You fail in your first sentence.
    This article is about Peta’s tactics of using naked women to promote vegetarianism, not the FCC’s tendency to ban ads with nudity. The issue is hypocrisy of claiming to fight exploitation of animals, by using exploitation of women.

  39. Emmarie
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    My first thought when I read this and went on to watch the actual commercial was how degrading the commercial is for men. You see over and over again just how high the media’s opinion of men’s integrity is. Throw some half naked women in the commercial and it will sell as opposed to giving actual reasons to support their cause (or buy their product). The message I’m getting is: Men don’t require reason or logic, just semi-exposed breasts and the unlikely possibility of sex with an anorexic model. Why aren’t more men offended by this trend in marketing that views them as brainless cavemen?

  40. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Okay I do not see how women are exploited then. Those models were surely compensated for posing nude and if they did it voluntarily and without pay, do we really want it to call exploitation if they do something for free for a cause they believe in ?

  41. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    No I DO NOT know that. If you payed attention iam from Germany. By that I mean iam a German resident. SOrry if I gave you the idea that I moved to America. I can understand the literal translation of Pink Collar job but that does not mean I know what you mean.
    Secretaries get less money than say, an engineer, because an engineer needs an higher degree of education. But iam sure there are jobs men do as well that earn them about what a secretary earns.
    To answer your question some say prostitution is considered easy work, others say one needs to be good with people.
    I hope my daughter will find a good man who will take care of her and that she does not have the double pressure of dealing with children and having to perform at a demanding job.
    Personally I wouldnt mind 2-3 grandchildren.

  42. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I agree that there is forced prostitution and child prostitution. Typically those women do not get to keep the money they are being payed by the customers and are forced to prostitute themselves by pimps or whatever they are called.
    But I would be very surprised if PETA did something on those lines. But if they did indeed exploit those women the authorities should be informed and the responsible persons be prosecuted.
    But I think they either were convinced of the cause or professionals who did it for the money out of their free will, or a mix of both.

  43. Theaetetus
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I hope my daughter will find a good man who will take care of her and that she does not have the double pressure of dealing with children and having to perform at a demanding job.
    Cripes.
    Well, no need to worry about whether Cassius is a troll or not.

  44. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Excuse me ?? I know what trolling is and I have not been accused of trolling on any boards I post on. You asked me what I want for my daugher, I answered it. I assume you are implying I would not be supportive of my daughter if she has other goals in life, that is not true.
    Please explain me how wanting grandchildren and my daughter to find a good man to take care of her is trolling ?!?!

  45. Cassius
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Is it now good or bad that the PETA ad is banned ? Iam confused o.O

  46. Salad
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Peta does use political venues:
    http://www.peta.org/feat_taxmeat.asp .
    Though I dislike Peta, I think taxing meat is a fantastic idea/

  47. PamelaVee
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    You don’t have to like Peta to be animal rights. There are even a lot of “Vegans Against Peta” avatars floating around :) I used to stick up for them but I don’t stick up for them anymore. I still hold out hope for them because they HAVE saved animals’ lives. However, there are other ways of doing it.
    Anyway, I remember you had a really negative response to vegetarianism/veganism in one of the other Peta posts, but maybe that was just anger at Peta and not at vegetarians. I *honestly* think it is awesome you are considering vegetarianism/veganism. It’s never been easier.
    I hope it’s ok to post some links here. I will say this- Peta DOES have great info on vegetarianism, including a whole website devoted just to cooking, so I will post that one:
    http://www.vegcooking.com/
    The rest are not from Peta. Once again, it’s not like you are paying them to use their site. They get clicks generated and all that, but it’s a free service…
    http://www.cok.net/
    http://vegweb.com/
    http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/
    http://www.exploreveg.org/resources (has free starter kit)
    Also, you will need to know a bit about nutrition, so I would suggest “Becoming Vegan” (Davis/Melina). It’s not hard like people think. Just make sure you take a b-12.
    Hope that helps, and good luck. Don’t let anyone discourage you from doing what you want to help animals.
    -PamelaVee

  48. digitalkath
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    PETA is awful.
    & I’m a vegetarian!
    Have you heard about their latest contest BUY AND EAT AS MUCH KFC AS POSSIBLE
    http://www.peta2.com/TAKECHARGE/t-silverstein-canadian-challenge.asp
    WOW

  49. attentat
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Taxing meat is a horrible idea! Besides the fact that taxing any food is regressive because it’s the same regardless of your income, it also targets poor people far more so than rich people. It’s a lot easier to be vegan if you’re middle- or upper-class than if you’re poor. And not just because vegan food is typically more expensive (tho prolly cheaper for the companies to make)—a lot of places that sell vegan foods don’t take food stamps. And sure, you could make a good healthy vegan meal from scratch with stuff you buy at a normal grocery store, but what if you don’t have time because you’re working two jobs so your kids CAN eat?

  50. Salad
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Meat is a more expensive source of protein and calories than vegetable sources (ie rice and beans). Poorer people typically consume less meat than upper class people for this reason. I realize pre-made meals that are vegetarian are more expensive. But pre-made foods are also generally more expensive, and hence, less consumed by poorer people.
    What do you mean by places that sell vegan food not accepting food stamps? You mean the grocery store? Restaurants may not except food stamps, but prepared food is taxed anyway.
    I do realize that programs like WIC checks cover cows milk, but not soy. This is problematic because those programs are disproportionately used by poor people of color. People of color are more likely to have milk allergies than people of northern European dissent, so essentially, they’re only getting subsidies for food that makes them sick. This is a form of oppression which ultimately costs everyone more in the long run.
    No one needs meat. It’s a luxury item. Animal agriculture is also the principle cause of greenhouse gas emissions. We already have a sin tax on gasoline for this very reason.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

220 queries. 1.284 seconds