There’s a Reason Why Lucy Yanks the Football From Charlie Brown

UPDATE: Behold, even more sexist ads that aired during the big game have been added below.

When do corporations spend $100K-per-second for TV ads in which the product will inevitably be forgotten by consumers, but the content will help spread misogynistic stereotypes?

On Super Bowl Sunday.

Whether or not you enjoy football as a sport or the Super Bowl as an event, chances are you’ll be watching the big game on February 6. Maybe you’re looking forward to The Black Eyed Peas’ halftime show, or Bill O’Reilly’s pre-game interview with President Obama. Maybe you even plan to watch the cast of Glee butcher Michael Jackson’s magnum opus “Thriller” during the post-game fun (check out a premonition of it here). But for me and many others, the Super Bowl ads are a significant pull to the game. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they’re sad. All I know is that they cost an absurd amount of money.

Unfortunately, in order to compensate for all that cash, the ads tend to be controversial and risky–many times at the expense of women. Over the years, there have been some Super Bowl ads so offensive that have been rejected from the broadcast or banned from further broadcast because of their blatant sexism. And the winner for most offensive ads, both this year and all-time? It’s PETA, in a runaway.

Below are some of the ads promised for this Sunday, followed by ads that have appeared in Super Bowls past. Warning: nausea inducing.

Ads from previous Super Bowls:

Photo via Flickr user Westside Shooter under Creative Commons 3.0.


  1. These ads are AWFUL!!

  2. Melanroxy says:

    I thought the bud light ad was pretty funny.

  3. Will be watching with my parents and my 6yo daughter tomorrow. Wondering what kinds of discussions we'll have about these things.

  4. The PETA ads are particularly distasteful, but all of these commercials only do serve to underscore the point that women are worthless, shallow, vain and/or annoying. Nice messaging, advertisers.

    At least these were rejected?

    • msmagblog says:

      Only a few were actually rejected. The first three listed will likely be aired tomorrow (unless anything changes between now and then–I can't possibly see how PETA will get away with airing theirs but we shall see). And the previous ones–the ones that say banned in the title didn't air but the rest did.

    • Cottey Student says:

      What is really sad about these commercials is that sometimes the point is to be rejected. If your ad is rejected, then it goes viral on the internet, giving you more viewers, and, supposedly, gaining more support for your cause, or users of your product. If you are rejected, it is because you were too racist, sexist, raunchy, or just plain horrendous to be seen by the general public over television. however, because we are living in a society where the dominant force is middle class, able bodied, white men, they, of course, want to see exactly what these ads portray, women as sexual objects to be used. It truly is sickening that PETA thinks they will gain support for their cause by showing women as sexual objects. It make me NOT want to support PETA, because their tactics undermine their purpose. It's terrible.

  5. Misogyny at its worst. Thanks for collecting them all, to better expose it.

  6. agreed, how awful…

  7. aaand this is why i neither watch the super bowl nor (despite being a veggie for a good chunk of my adult life) will never donate to PETA. there are other animal rights orgs that treat everyone with dignity, and do not see the well-being of animals as competing with the well-being of women.

  8. these are totally nauseating. i'm speechless.

  9. Maybe you will understand why we created the Network Solutions parody video about Go Daddy commercials and have a chuckle too . I work for Network Solutions. “With a little bit of creativity and the support of an online community we’re letting the masses know that as a company, we like to have some fun, but when it comes to our customers, we take their business seriously.”

  10. canyonoflight says:

    What the fuck @ that first one? I'm not sure I can watch anymore. That was borderline porn.

  11. I think these commercials do worse for the image of men than for women.

  12. This is the reply I received to my report of "animal cruelty" towards women in their "Veggie Love" campaign, citing Animals Used Cruelly for Entertainment…

    ""Thank you for your letter expressing concern about our use of nudity in our ads and campaigns. We appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with us. 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. Our “naked” demonstrators and models choose to participate in our actions because they want to do something to make people stop and pay attention. We believe that people should have the choice to use their own bodies to make social statements, and that there is nothing shameful or “wrong” about being naked. This tactic has been used since Lady Godiva rode naked on a horse to protest taxes on the poor in the 11th century. Please know that we also feature men in our ads and demonstrations; the following are just a few examples: … These activists are dedicated to helping foxes who are electrocuted and skinned by the millions for the fur industry, calves who are torn from their distraught mothers and slaughtered for the meat industry, elephants who are beaten bloody and forced to live in chains year after year in circuses, and the billions of animals who suffer from torture, maddening isolation, starvation, terror, and violent death at the hands of uncaring industries. Take Traci Bingham and Pamela Anderson, for example, who posed for our “All Animals Have the Same Parts” ad campaign. Both are deeply committed vegetarians known to millions for their television work, and chose to use their bodies as a political tool to grab public attention for serious animal issues. In this case, Ms. Bingham and Ms. Anderson were offended by the traditional “meat” posters that treat animals as “parts,” and they wanted to make the point that neither farmed animals nor women should be viewed as parts—we are all precious. We feel that all people should be free to use their minds and bodies as political instruments to bring attention to animal suffering like this, and we appreciate any effort to help those who have no voice. We use all available opportunities to reach millions of people with powerful messages. We have found that people do pay more attention to our racier actions, and we consider the public’s attention to be extremely important. Sometimes this requires tactics—like naked marches and colorful ad campaigns—that some people find rude or outrageous, but part of our job is to shake people up and even shock them in order to initiate discussion, debate, questioning of the status quo, and of course, action. After PETA publicized our “State of the Union Undress,” for example, we were rated the number one “mover” on Yahoo’s search engine, meaning that PETA received the greatest percentage increase of terms searched that day. The situation is critical for billions of animals, and our goal is to make the public think about the issues. Although some consider our projects that include nudity to be controversial, many women express support for these tactics. You might find it interesting to consider that it is the societies that allow women to wear revealing clothing in which women have the most rights and the most power. Likewise, it is the societies that punish women for wearing revealing clothing in which women have the fewest rights and the least power. Should women only be allowed to participate in activism if they promise not to show their bodies or use their bodies as political statements? If a person chooses to use his or her physicality and sexuality to convey a message of his or her choosing, aren’t those who would censor him or her, even if their motives are good, also somewhat guilty of disrespect and repression? PETA does make a point of having something for all tastes, from the most conservative to the most radical and from the most tasteless to the most refined, and this approach has proved amazingly successful—in the three decades since PETA was founded, it has grown into the largest animal rights group in the world, with more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide. For more information about PETA’s vital work for animals, please visit We respect your right to disagree with our tactics but hope that you will continue to support projects that you do agree with, such as our free vegetarian starter kit giveaways ( or our low-cost spay/neuter clinics ( Thank you for giving us this opportunity to respond to your concern and for everything that you do to help animals!

    Sincerely, The PETA Staff""

    Very interested to know what you think about this…

    • Alea Payne says:

      In regards to the letter from PETA. It always amazes me when women claim to be "feminist" as they "choose" to literally embody the fantasy and ideal image of what the dominant culture–white, straight, middle class, able-bodied, men–so narrowly deems to be women's sexuality. What amazes me ever further is when so-called feminist women call themselves feminist by hiding under the guise of "choice". I wasn't aware that growing up in this sexist, racist, classist, ageist, ablist, heterosexist, society no longer had any effect on my ability to make my own "choices" without being influenced or informed by all that shit going on around me. WOW. I feel truly enlightened…NOT. Women should have the right to do what they want with there body, but don't slap a feminist label on it just because a woman expresses joy while being objectified and sexually exploited by an industry out to further perpetuate westernized ideas of beauty, and women's sexuality existing only to the extend that it can be pleasing to a man…aka… a vegetable symbolizing a penis. If being a feminist within the PETA organization means my sexuality is limited to whether or not I can suck a squash or fit a cucumber between my legs, I might as well join Rush Limba in fighting against the femi-nazi's because apparently, according to PETA, being a feminist now days means ignoring the underlying cultural foundation that supports sexism and other forms of group oppression, BY CHOICE. It is specifically comical when PETA says in the letter, “PETA does make a point of having something for all tastes, from the most conservative to the most radical and from the most tasteless to the most refined, and this approach has proved amazingly successful…” Wow! It’s been that successful huh?! I guess that means that whatever they are doing is right! It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that the taste they continuously push to satisfy is that of men, oh and they seem to be invested in telling women what they SHOULD taste like… or what they could be tasting… Like on the commercial above. This week’s special on the menu in PETAland is sexy, skinny, women tasting phallic symbols! Because, after all, my purpose as a woman is to be the designated taste-bud tickler of men! Yum. Apparently I've been wasting me time being dedicated to a political movement to end sexist oppression when I could have been making myself a salad. Literally.

  13. Betsy Alden says:

    To PepsiCo—

    I am appalled at the Super Bowl commercial I just saw of a woman throwing a Pepsi can at another woman and knocking her over. What was your point? That Pepsi makes people crazy? Violence is the LAST thing we need more images of, and this is absolutely disgusting. I am taking down my Pepsi sign which has hung in my kitchen for 20 years and will not drink another drop of any of your products unless you make a VERY strong public apology for this ridiculous lapse in judgment and also make amends. And I will also call attention to this among national feminist organizations I am active in.

    Shame on you!!

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