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The NFL apologized today for rapper M.I.A.’s super inappropriate Super Bowl gesture. But her flashing of the middle finger during the halftime show wasn’t the only display that had a parents watchdog group up in arms last night.
This year’s commercials, which began airing at 6:30 pm, a time when millions of children could be tuning in, were racier and more sexually suggestive than ever, according to the Parents Television Council.
Among the offenders were a hypersexualized Teleflora ad promising your girlfriend will do anything you want if you just order her some flowers; a Toyota Camry ad featuring a couch made of lingerie clad models; and a Fiat commercial where a beautiful model seduces a man on the street, has foam from a drink dripped on her chest, and then turns into a car.
But this year it wasn’t just the ladies who bared all. In the same Camry ad, several Speedo clad men were similarly used as seating, and a racy ad for H&M featured a topless David Beckham preening in his underwear.
“We are hearing shock and concern from our members, particularly about the Fiat ad and the David Beckham ad,” said Dan Isett, the Director of Public Policy for the Parents Television Council.
“It was shockingly explicit material for the audience," he explained. "These ads didn’t air at one in the morning on cable. The was the Super Bowl. How do parents explain to their kids what a famous soccer star is doing in his underwear?”
GoDaddy.com has earned a reputation over the past few years as one of the most explicit Super Bowl advertisers, showing models in variosu states of undress and then pushing the viewer to see more at its 'unrated' web site. This year, the Godaddy.com ad featured race car driver Danica Patrick and fitness guru Jillian Michaels writing all over nude Colombian model Natalia Velez with magic markers.
“GoDaddy.com was still concerning, but not the most concerning this year. There were many spots that parents will be offended by. The Super Bowl is such a big deal because it is regarded as a family event,” Isett said. “The NFL and their broadcast partners are running a serious risk here with their brand. At some point they are going to lose the cachet of the Super Bowl being appropriate for families.”