Plus Size Dating Site Claims Super Bowl Discriminated Against Ad

January 19, 2012  |  

Whitney Thompson’s plus size dating site, thebigandthebeautiful.com, is only a month off of the ground, but it’s already involved in controversy—depending on who you ask.

The “America’s Next Top Model” winner claims that NBC rejected an ad for the site that was submitted for consideration during the Super Bowl on the basis of fat discrimination. Her rep stated in a press release:

“I wanted to pass along an ad that has been rejected by NBC. The ad stars America’s Next Top Model winner and plus-sized model Whitney Thompson. She believes they rejected the commercial because it features bigger women and not the skinnier accepted norm.

“The ad is for TheBigAndTheBeautiful.com — a dating site for plus-sized men and women that was founded by Thompson. NBC Universal’s rejection email said: ‘Unfortunately it needs to be completely reworked for our air. S&P [Standards and Practices] wouldn’t approve it.'”

The “rejection email” doesn’t state why S&P wouldn’t approve the spot, but ad execs think it has less to do with a plus-size woman being featured and more to do with poor video quality and a lengthy back-shot of  a skinny actress. Sites like Adage also note that many companies who can’t afford the pricey $3 million baseline cost of an ad during the game—which this new site likely could not—will often cry discrimination just to get attention. Judging from the video, I think I’m inclined to go with Adage on this one.

Check out the ad spot and tell us what you think. Do you think NBC would discriminate against the ad because it features a bigger woman or are Whitney and her team just looking for attention?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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