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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Every year, millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl. Most watch for the football, but some actually watch for the flashy commercials. And of all the ads that will be turning heads this Sunday, the one making headlines now is one you won't see during the game.

It's produced by the gay dating site ManCrunch.com. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

SAM SANDERS: The 30-second ManCrunch ad shows two guys on a couch watching a football game.

(Soundbite of Super Bowl ad)

SANDERS: They're rooting for two different teams. Then, they both reach for potato chips at the same time.

(Soundbite of Super Bowl ad)

Unidentified Man #1 (Singer): (Singing) I want to kiss this guy...

SANDERS: Their hands touch.

(Soundbite of Super Bowl ad)

Unidentified Man #1 (Singer): (Singing) I really, really, really want to kiss this guy.

SANDERS: They kiss rather comically.

Mr.�DOMINIC FRIESEN (Spokesman, ManCrunch.com): We honestly did not think there would be any issue with the ad. It's quite harmless. It's not controversial. It's not sensational.

SANDERS: Dominic Friesen is a spokesperson for ManCrunch.com. He says CBS made his company wait almost two weeks for a decision on airing the commercial, and then, he says, CBS said no ad spots were left for the game. Actually, CBS was still selling ads as of this week.

Mr.�FRIESEN: I think the greatest disappointment is the discrimination and the anti-gay bias.

SANDERS: A statement from CBS says that ManCrunch didn't meet the credit requirements to pay for the ad. It would have cost up to $3 million. As a new corporation, the company has a limited credit history. ManCrunch says it offered to pay for the ad in cash but wouldn't show NPR documents verifying that.

CBS's statement also said the commercial's creative content is not within its broadcast standards. Susan Stasney is from Alexandria, Virginia. She'll be watching the Super Bowl, but more for the commercials than the actual game. She knows a bit about the ManCrunch ad controversy.

Ms.�SUSAN STASNEY: I wouldn't want to see that as a Super Bowl commercial, and that really is pushing the envelope of what today's society would, you know, be down with.

SANDERS: Yet, she thinks there's a double standard at play.

Ms.�STASNEY: But of course, everyone likes the thought of a couple of girls kissing, but they don't like the thought of a couple of guys kissing.

SANDERS: A few years ago, candymaker Snickers ran a Super Bowl ad in which two men accidentally kiss while trying to eat the same Snickers bar. In the ad, the kiss disgusted them both. That ad was denounced as homophobic. This year, ManCrunch is calling on gay rights groups to boycott CBS and the Super Bowl.

But the dating site is not the first business to have an ad denied. In fact, Brad Adgate, an advertising expert at Horizon Media, says that some corporations submit ads they know will be denied for the Super Bowl just for the publicity of the rejection.

Mr.�BRAD ADGATE (Advertising Expert, Horizon Media): Once in a while, you see companies who want to get more bang for their investment in the Super Bowl by putting on ads that are they know are going to be not accepted by the standards and practices of the network.

SANDERS: Adgate says the big game is one of the last TV shows to reach men and women of all ages, and even a denial with an audience that big can be good for business. So ManCrunch might not have it that bad after all. In fact, since the ad's rejection, Web traffic to the dating site has almost doubled.

Sam Sanders, NPR News.

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