Super Bowl ads are some of the most anticipated commercials each year. They are also some of the most costly. This is because they are seen by millions of individuals in one of the most highly watched recreational sports events each year.
Examples of Super Bowl Ads Throughout History
Throughout history, we have seen many different advertisements. Ones that have included new cars. Ones that have included alcohol companies such as the infamous Budweiser frogs. In the early years of the Super Bowl we even saw advertisements from major tobacco producers such as Camel cigarettes.
Throughout the years we have even seen a plethora of Super Bowl commercials from pharmaceutical companies repping their new drugs. One thing we haven’t seen are medical cannabis ads during this primetime advertising spot. This doesn’t seem to be something that will be changing anytime soon either. This is despite more than half of the states in the United States being home to comprehensive medical cannabis programs.
One Company Was Willing and Able
This isn’t because medical cannabis companies aren’t willing to fork out the multi-millions that it cost to run a Super Bowl ad. This also isn’t because medical cannabis companies aren’t submitting commercials for approval. In fact, just this year a medical cannabis company submitted an ad for approval and was more than willing and able to pay the hefty price for this prime spot.
Unfortunately, the Network Said No
CBS, the network which broadcasts the Super Bowl, however, would not approve the ad. In fact, they right out refused to allow it a spot amongst others for Super Bowl LIII which is set to take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3rd, 2019.
A cannabis investment firm by the name of Acreage Holding was responsible for the ad in question and was ready to pay $5-$10 million to see it play during the Super Bowl. The ad highlighted the stories of 3 individuals who had all seen significant benefits from the legal use of cannabis. A child who suffered hundreds of seizures daily. A veteran who suffered from chronic pain after a leg amputation. And the other was a man that was battling opioid addiction, something that thousands of Americans are suffering with personally each day.
The point of the ad was to highlight the need for positive cannabis reform at the federal level. It brought to light the benefits that people are seeing in individual states that have legal access to utilize cannabis medicinally while making note of the significance a federal change could make for many others.
The Reason and State of CBS’ Denial
The ad did not receive approval from CBS. According to a network spokesperson via a USA Today interview the reason was that “for the time being, pot-related ads did not fit CBS’ broadcast standards.” I suppose advertising dangerous and potentially deadly tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals are up to their standards, but a natural plant that is saving lives and never taken one in history isn’t good enough for them. This is yet another prime example of a company that needs to get with the times. Like it or not, CBS, it is time that you realize the prohibition against cannabis is coming to an end.