On Sunday morning, Addicting Info wrote about how CBS had blocked an advertisement from Sodastream to air during the Superbowl. The ad, which was critical of big bottlers Coca-Cola and Pepsi, gained notability on the Internet as people watched, and criticized, the company for bowing to pressure from the two soda giants.
The original, unaired Superbowl ad you can see for yourself here:
Instead, CBS in a late stage decision, relented to let Sodastream air an existing advertisement during the big game. Not a new or targeted advertisement meant to leverage the Superbowl, but this ad – a softer and more general advertisement – aired on the network in most markets; see video here:
While we are pleased to see the advertising of non-mainstream products during the Superbowl, that CBS, at such a late stage, would reject an ad for being competitive against the established vendors, and not for any true criticism of the material within the advertisement, still calls into question the broadcasters journalistic integrity. One must ask, what else have they edited due to criticism of an advertiser? Did they fail to pursue news articles as deeply as they should, or even edited out criticism or public service messages which could be viewed by an advertiser in a negative light? And it is not as if ads do not criticize their competition, as Pepsi regularly does in its advertisements, such as this one below making use of actors dressed as in Coke’s advertisements from the Superbowl:
As for Sodastream itself, the company is continuing its rapid growth in public perception and sales. However, this is not all sunshine and smiles for the firm, which continues to face harsh criticism for operating one of its manufacturing plants in the disputed West Bank territories. It’s also had criticism levied on its claims of environmental friendliness. In any case, the small Israeli company has managed to continue its remarkable growth and seems well poised for the future.
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