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No Campaign Ad Interference for Super Bowl

By Matthew Mosk
The Fox Network won't sell advertising time during the Super Bowl to a political candidate, according to a published report today.

Last week, the network had one 30-second spot still available to a candidate willing to pay about $2.7 million for the coveted commercial time. The game will be held Feb. 3, two days before the all-important day of primaries, Super Tuesday.

The industry publication Advertising Age reports on its web site today that Fox has decided since it cannot make time available to all the candidates, it won't make it available to any.

Fox lawyers pointed to Federal Communications Commission regulations to explain the company's decision.

"We comply with all legal requirements when it comes to selling time to candidates, including any requirements that might apply to a unique broadcast like the Super Bowl," a Fox spokesperson told AdAge. Fox can refuse to sell political time in this situation, and can invoke an FCC ruling that turning candidates down is reasonable in "unique, one-time-only" broadcasts where equal ad time can't be offered to all candidates, according to the report.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 25, 2008; 5:41 PM ET
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Mostly I think it is a shame that Fox is not selling ads to political candidates for the Superbowl. I certainly understand that selling air time to only one campaign would be a problem, but they should have offered up space when more slots were available.

I am split on this issue. In some ways, advertising during the Superbowl seems almost as poor taste as advertising during the Christmas season. But the Superbowl is the one time when people are actually focused on the commercials, and it is a unique time when a lot of people will be voting right after the Superbowl. To let the Superbowl pass without even mentioning that one of the biggest moments in our nation's political history is upon us seems like it diminishes us all. We should be focusing on the game and having fun, but as the Patriots look for the end to a perfect season, can't we spend 30 seconds looking for a perfect season?

Posted by: Levijohn | January 29, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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