Morality in Media says that GoDaddy.com is likely getting set to push the boundaries of acceptability with its advertising on the CBS broadcast of the Super Bowl, taking it to the edge of indecency, “as close as CBS thinks it can get away with.”
MIM’s Robert Peters said, “It is no secret that GoDaddy.com loves to ‘push the envelope’ when it comes to the content of its ads; and it would appear that this year’s Super Bowl ads may push as close to the indecency line as CBS Network ‘censors’ will allow, which could be as close as CBS thinks it can get away with.”
He said of a sneak preview of an upcoming ad: “Sure looks like lesbian strip performances to me.”
He also charged GoDaddy with providing internet services to hardcore pornography sites, and suggested that the company “…could be charged with aiding and abetting (or facilitating) violations of these criminal laws.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Peters has issued fair warning to his constituency to go grab a snack when GoDaddy gets its little chunk of Super Bowl time. But the fact is, going to the edge is not the same as crossing the line. If GoDaddy.com has been indecent in the past, then file a complaint and make the charge stick. But if the company is able to play the line, as obscure as it is, like a Stradivarius, then so be it.
The Constitution strongly supports no limit on free speech. Therefore, the limits placed on broadcasters in spite of the Constitution should cause a minimum of intrusion on this basic right. The rules are not designed to utterly and completely protect the most sensitive and squeamish among us. And they do not impose content limits such as one might find during the children’s programming block on PBS.
And charging the company with “aiding and abetting” makes no more sense than charging Ford or Studebaker for “aiding and abetting” because Prohibition-era gangsters used their products as getaway vehicles.
Perhaps the GoDaddy.com commercials will be in bad taste. That’s subjective – if we use that standard, we want all copies of The Captain and Tennilles’s “Muskrat Love” destroyed – immediately. But we won’t have that wish granted, any more than objectors to material that pushes but does not go over the edge will.