Super Sexy PETA Super Bowl Spot Stirs Controversy

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PETA videos never fail to shock me. Usually their ads grab viewers’ attention through explicit footage of animal slaughters, evoking sympathy toward animals and disgust toward the meat and dairy industry. However, the ad PETA planned for Super Bowl 2009 aimed to promote vegetarianism through a crude yet alluring means: sex. 

In the ad, Victoria’s Secret model look-alikes engage in passionate and steamy acts with…vegetables.  A blindfold, massage oil, and a bubbling hot tub make are added to the mix to turn up the heat.  After an exploding crescendo and burst of asparagus flying through the air, a message appears: “Studies have shown vegetarians have better sex.”

PETA claims NBC rejected the commercial; however, the actual NBC memo states otherwise. Upon viewing the ad, NBC wrote that the spot “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” Victoria Morgan, VP of Advertising Standards at NBC, requested that PETA edit the commercial, removing the “licking,”  “rubbing,” and “screwing” of vegetables. Rather than agreeing to those terms, PETA publicized the memo and asserts that NBC refuses to air the ad.

While the video is pretty clever, I found its portrayal of women unsettling and demoralizing. What do you think? Please comment below.

To view the ad click here:

To view NBC’s memo click here:

—Anna Monette Roberts, Editorial Intern