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Students not offended by Super Bowl ads

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While students were concerned about the funniness of Sunday's Super Bowl commercials, legislators were concerned about the advertisements' tastefulness.

On Feb. 1, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis) wrote a letter to the Motion Picture Association of America calling for careful consideration of appropriate movie trailers to air during the event.

Kind's letter to the association's chief executive officer, Dan Glickman, asked for "responsibility in decision-making from your industry."

He said trailers run during past Super Bowls were too violent, scary or sexually suggestive to be run in front of the game's broad audience.

"This has been my pet peeve for a few years now," Kind said in an interview. "It's a worldwide event with an unbelievable viewing audience, a family event."

Kind said Super Bowl advertising is different than other kinds of advertising because parents do not have much time to screen what their children are seeing due to the fast-paced nature of the event.

"The movie ads they put on are very violent or sexually graphic and you have no chance to react to it," he said.

In his letter to Glickman, Kind wrote "I do not believe in government censorship, but I do believe in industry responsibility."

He said he would try to meet with Glickman if he saw more inappropriate movie advertisements run during Sunday's game.

Kind said he did not have a problem with other ads typically run during the Super Bowl, calling them "light and funny."

However, some beer advertisers have also been facing pressure to clean up their commercials.

Bob Lachky, vice president for brand management at Anheuser-Busch told the New York Times the company would be careful with their advertisements this year.

According to a statement from the company, Anheuser-Busch will be the exclusive beer advertiser of the Super Bowl through at least 2006.

The company would not comment to the Tribune on their efforts to run tasteful ads.

Ana Garner, associate professor of Journalism, said tasteful beer advertisements are a rarity.

"As a general rule I think the way they portray women is awful," she said. "Most beer ads treat women as body parts."

However, Garner said Anheuser-Busch is usually more tasteful in their ads than other companies like Coors and Miller.

"Busch beer has at least done more to try to come up with creative ways of getting you excited about the product," she said. "They didn't need to do any bouncing babes."

Students said they did not see many advertisements during Sunday's game that they found offensive.

"There was nothing too sexual, even the beer commercials," said Sara VanDenHeuvel, sophomore in the College of Health Sciences.

VanDenHeuvel did say she thought some of the movie trailers, specifically the sequel to "XXX," were a little violent for young children.

John McGuire, freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the only advertisement he thought might be considered offensive was one for, in which a woman experienced her own wardrobe malfunction.

"It didn't offend me, but I just thought with the whole Janet Jackson thing it was a little iffy," he said.

Both McGuire and VanDenHeuvel said they were disappointed with the overall level of this year's Super Bowl commercials.

"With the Super Bowl, you expect a certain level of entertainment and that level hasn't been met," VanDenHeuvel said.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on Feb. 8 2005.

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