You won’t see this banned cannabis advertisement on TV when the Rams take on the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. But what does that mean for the cannabis industry?
One big story this week surrounded cannabis and the Super Bowl. CBS turned down an application from Acreage Holdings (CSE: ACRG, OTC: ACRZF) to air an advertisement advocating medical cannabis during this year’s matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. You can see the “banned” Super Bowl ad here on YouTube.
The controversy over this ad is entirely manufactured and does not reflect the future of the industry in any way.
As you’ll see, the ad doesn’t even advocate for a specific company, though Acreage Holdings did put its name at the end to take responsibility for the content. And rightly so, since the content is something that anyone would be proud to take responsibility for. The proposed advertisement shares the stories of people who have had their lives improved by medical cannabis.
These kinds of stories are a big part of why I like the cannabis market so much. The massive profit opportunities are accompanied by the ability to help people.
We’ve received some questions here at the National Institute for Cannabis Investors about the ad. Does rejecting it make the adoption of legal cannabis slow down? Why would CBS reject such an ad?
This “banned” ad doesn’t change anything, and every actor in this drama played their parts exactly as we would expect. We can appreciate the proposed ad and at the same time dismiss the press circus surrounding it.
- CBS was never going to accept this ad. It never accepts issue ads during the Super Bowl. Heck, it even “banned” an ad soliciting donations for a veteran’s group featuring the hashtag “#PleaseStand” because it was too political. Moreover, half or so of medical cannabis is smoked, and ads for smoking have been absent from America’s televisions since 1970. So the fact that the ad happened to be about cannabis need not even have figured into CBS’s decision. It “banned” an ad advocating cannabis just the same as it would have “banned” an ad opposing soft drinks.
- Acreage was smart to try to run the ad anyway. If they had simply released the ad, you probably would never have heard of it. By getting the ad “banned,” Acreage gets a lot of good publicity for itself and for the cause of medical cannabis. In years past GoDaddy was the master of this technique. They produced a “banned” ad almost every year, mostly for being too racy. What happened every year is that millions of people went online to see the ad and GoDaddy saved itself the exorbitant fee it would have paid if the NFL had accepted the ad.
- The mainstream media did its part, too. It dutifully reported that the cannabis ad had been “banned” and then they linked to it, driving millions of eyeballs to see it.
So don’t worry about this “banned” ad. It is not a roadblock to mainstream acceptance of cannabis.
Tomorrow, do three things. First, look for the CBD ad which will be displayed through in-stadium ads – I’ll be surprised if they appear anywhere a TV camera films but it will be fun to look for it. Second, enjoy the game. And third, try not to get the same terrible numbers in your box pool that I always seem to draw.
Thank you for your membership in the National Institute for Cannabis Investors,
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
6 responses to “No Cannabis at the Super Bowl (And That’s OK)”
February 02 2019