TEXT OF STORY
Steve Chiotakis: CBS has sold Super Bowl ad time to an advocacy group called Focus on the Family. Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith reports.
Stacey Vanek-Smith: Focus on the Family is a Christian Group that has argued against abortion and same-sex marriage.
Commercial: By supporting Focus on the Family, Fred is helping a lot of families thrive.
Polarizing groups like Focus on the Family have traditionally been shut out of buying ads for big-ticket events like the Super Bowl. That’s because networks want those commercials to appeal to everyone.
Brand strategist Adam Hanft says in the past, the Super Bowl has turned down ad dollars from animal activist group PETA and liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org.
Adam Hanft: It’s a big threshold moment. I think obviously it’s driven by some of the economics of the broadcast television industry is facing today. It could be the beginning of other similar kinds of advocacy advertising in big mainstream events.
Hanft says CBS is scrambling to sell ad time for the big game. A 30-second spot in this year’s Super Bowl is selling for $2.5 million. Last year, they cost $3 million. The longer the economy remains weak, the louder money will talk. Hanft expects more advocacy ads to crop up on prime time TV and for big events like the Oscars.
I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.