Lumber company’s ‘controversial’ Super Bowl ad axed

Friday 3 Feb 2017

 
Nearly every year, some brands goes too far with their Super Bowl commercial, crafting a 30-second spot that's deemed too sexy, provocative or offensive to air. In some cases, companies do this intentionally to garner more attention than a spot would’ve otherwise received.

But in the case of first-time Super Bowl advertiser 84 Lumber, it was a political message that was rejected for being “too controversial.” The 90-second spot, created by the Pittsburgh-based agency Brunner, includes images of immigrants unable to cross the border due to a wall, according to a story in Campaign, a trade publication that covers the communications industry.

"Fox rejected our original commercial because they determined that some of the imagery, including 'the wall' would be too controversial," CEO Michael Brunner said in a statement (this was before the announcement last week by Trump on the wall along the US-Mexico border). "So, we went back and revised the spot to make it acceptable to them."

Fox Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to Brunner, Fox approved the new version, which is set to air just before halftime at an estimated cost of US$15 million. 84 Lumber, based in Eighty Four, Pa., said the campaign will kick off a national recruiting campaign to help its current workforce of 5,100 employees grow.

“For 60 years, this has been a company defined by its people, entrepreneurs who see opportunity where others don’t,” said Maggie Hardy Magerko, 84 Lumber owner and president. “We want the world to know 84 Lumber is the place for people who don’t always fit nicely into a box.”

84 Lumber said it will post the full, uncensored ad online on Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. “While the full story will no longer be told on TV at the Super Bowl, we all believe too strongly in that message to leave it on the editing room floor," said Brunner.

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