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PETA Ad Dubbed Too Sexy for Super Bowl

The animal-rights group doesn't want people to eat meat, but they don't mind treating women like it.

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Okay ... one of the hottest ads I've seen in 41 years! Going out to get more veggies ... right now! Great job, PETA! Shame on you, NBC!

Or this one:

OMG! That ad is soooo hot! I love it. NBC is so lame for not accepting it.

Another way to put it is that most people, as well as the mainstream media, are too busy going, "Look, cleavage and cucumbers," to really talk about anything else.

Which brings us back to the objectification of women. Just because using women's bodies as virtual stand-ins for sex gets you attention doesn't make it right. We may have come to expect that from beer companies, but not organizations fighting for justice.

Bottom line: PETA has no business stepping on women's rights in the name of animal rights.

But tell that to PETA's marketing department.

Update: Below is an interview with Ashley Byrne, a Campaign Coordinator for PETA. Unfortunately I did not hear back from Ashley in time to incorporate her responses into my story (no fault of Ashley's, the story was fast-tracked). Here, unedited, is the interview:

Q: What did PETA hope to accomplish with this ad?

A: The ladies show that a healthy relationship with veggies can be exciting, pleasurable and fulfilling. The message here is: "Studies Show: Vegetarians Have Better Sex," which is true. Eating meat clogs the arteries to all of your organs, not just your heart. Meat consumption has been directly linked to impotence. Besides, eating meat is a total turn-off. there’s nothing sexier than someone who is passionate and compassionate.

Q: The message you all are putting out is that NBC wouldn't air this because it's too "sexy." But others -- average viewers -- have noted that it's also sexist. How do you respond to critics who say the ad objectifies women, uses their bodies as virtual stand-ins for sex and essentially treats them like meat, presumably to get people to stop eating meat?

A: We often do sexy things to get the word out about animal abuse, because sadly, the media usually do not consider the facts alone “interesting” enough to cover. As an organization staffed largely by feminist women, we would not do something that we felt contributed to the very serious problems that women face. These women are choosing to stick up for animals who never get a choice when they are abused on factory farms and then brutally slaughtered, and we applaud our models, as well as all our activists, for exercising their freedom by speaking up for those who have no voice.

Q: Given all the media attetion this ad is getting as "too hot for the super bowl," were you hoping all along that NBC would deny this advertisement (was that always the plan)?  If NBC had accepted it, would you guys have released it beforehand anyways?

A: The sales rep we dealt with at NBC was initially excited about the commercial, so we were shocked to get her rejection email, which was actually a lot more graphic than the ad itself. Our ad is sexy and provocative, much like a host of other ads you'd typically see on the Super Bowl. We have to wonder if our long campaign against KFC wasn't the real reason for our spot being turned down. The fast-food giant is a major NBC sponsor - and a target of heavy PETA campaigning as a result of its failure to reform cruel animal welfare practices and slaughter methods.

Update #2: For those who want more, Melissa McEwan responds to the PETA interview at the end of her piece here.

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