Toyota cuts out image of tackle in TV ad in response to NFL complaint

Article by Christian A., on January 21, 2011

Toyota Motor Corp. didn’t think its television commercial was controversial in the least but apparently, the image of a tackle was too much for the National Football League.

The league sought to remove an image in the commercial of a helmet-to-helmet tackle because of the scrutiny the effects of concussions have been receiving, according to representatives from both sides.

Toyota, one of the largest corporate advertisers, changed the TV ad as the league warned that the spot won’t be permitted to air during its games.

It isn’t common for the NFL to make such a request. But the fact that it did indicates just how sensitive the matter is within the league and the extent that it will go to guard its image and position as the country's most popular sport. The NFL has about $9 billion in annual revenue.

Tim Morrison, corporate marketing communications manager for the Toyota division in the U.S., said that after the NFL saw the ad on Monday Night Football, the request was swiftly made the next morning.

Morrison said that the carmaker never meant to offend the NFL. In this ad, images of football players and brain scans appeared as Wake Forest University professors talked about the potential use of Toyota technology to help understand and prevent brain injuries. [via autonews - sub. required]

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