Super Bowl commercials are historic and a popular pastime, even for those who aren’t fond of football. One company, however, has been stymied by federal laws and by CBS and won’t be able to have their commercial aired in the Super Bowl line-up.
Acreage Holdings, is a US-based investment company that works with cannabis. The company had proposed a 30-second spot that showed how marijuana helps people better handle pain from chronic conditions like Dravet’s Syndrome and the epileptic seizures caused by the condition, which is the case with a child in the ad. However, the commercial was rejected by CBS.
Acreage Holdings plans to publish a 60-second version to their website, allowing viewers to weigh in on whether it was appropriate for audiences enjoying the Super Bowl. Other companies who have had ads rejected have gone this route as well.
Those ads, however, were rejected for sexual content or inappropriate product presentation. For Acreage Holdings, who maintain that their product was not shown in the ad, these issues do not apply.
The ad was developed in the same vein as a public service announcement, and it would have run with a price tag of $5 million. Acreage Holdings officials say the rejection is not surprising to them, considering the fact recreational and medical use are both still prohibited at a federal level.
It shows different people who shared opinions on the way medical marijuana has helped them deal with pain from chronic conditions, recover from opioid addiction and also handle the loss of a limb and the resulting pain. The ad focuses entirely on the people and benefits from medical marijuana accessibility. However, Acreage is not mentioned, and marijuana is not shown.
Still, CBS used the reasoning that the ad did not fit their policies and rejected it via an email to Acreage.
The company hopes to raise awareness that medical marijuana is an option — the reason behind the ad itself — and will release the ad in as many media formats as possible. They also are discussing the rejection for the same reason.
Acreage Holdings officials say their rejection is a strong reflection of the problem facing U.S. residents currently — that of confusion on the benefits of cannabis and lack of access to information because the state laws and federal laws are at odds.