That was Super. Thanks for asking.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

April 5, 2006

3 Min Read
Super Complaints

1:00 AM -- That was Super. Thanks for asking.

The fines and not-so-fines from the 2004 "Janet Jackson" Super Bowl are well documented. But how touchy were the masses during this year's contest? From The Philter's Fun with FOIA file, we've picked out some selected FCC-filed complaints from this year's Super Bowl broadcast.

Since the halftime show was a sad fossil-fest, most folks directed their ire at the commercials. For instance, here's a complaint about the ABC ad where Playboy founder Hugh Hefner made a pitch for "Desperate Housewives":

Like internet pornography needs the added boost from ABC and the Superbowl to spread its cancer that robs men of their dignity and places women and children in a vunerable and disrespected position.

And a rare few felt the real problem with the show was that everything sucked:

I would like to file a complaint on how the Super Bowl's halftime performance and commercials were absolutely mundane and boring. I feel that since the Janet Jackson mishap and the FCC fine, the halftime shows and the commercials during the super bowl have lacked an edge and a true representation of today's times…

Others, were fed up. Fed Up With The Stars, as it were:

The ad for ABC's Dancing with the Stars aired during the Super Bowl featured women in provocative clothing, moving seductively and stroking their own breasts. I was trying to enjoy watching the Super Bowl with my young son and was angry that he was exposed to those images.

Why stroke your own when someone else can do it for you?

This was a commercial show during the 4th quarter of the super bowl. The screen is black, with only times occasionally displayed. The sound of a squeaking bed is the only sound. The final caption reads, "Tan people get more." We were watching the game with our families, for crying out loud!

It was a double entendre, for crying out loud. Why are pale people so cranky?

I would like to file a complaint against the Ameriquest Mortgage Company commercial aired during the Yr. 2006 NFL Superbowl. It is the commercial where a woman is on an airplane straddling a man…

Try as I might, that's a tough mental image to discard…

Is it actually permissable to show images of two people apparently engaging in copulation in a public place – in this case, in the center seats of an airplane – to sell Ameriquest products?

Not a bad question. And it's always worth noting that lots of people get screwed by their mortgage brokers. One way or another…

The promotion of immorality can only lead to immoral behavior itself, and immoral behavior leads to an irresponsible society with perverted boys and girls and men and women, enslaved to sexual appetites.

Well, I can't argue with that logic.

And that wraps our Super Bowl complaint coverage. Just a thought: Is it any surprise at all that the ad most complained about was also the most popular?

— Phil Harvey, Enslaved Appetites Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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