For the second consecutive year, a Super Bowl commercial for SodaStream has been rejected for airing. According to USA Today on Saturday, Fox turned down an ad from the make-it-yourself soda company over a shot it takes at two major competitors.
Fox, which is broadcasting the big game this year, took exception to the commercial's finals words. Actress and SodaStream global ambassador Scarlett Johansson closes out the ad by saying "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi," which prompted the network to ask that the line be nixed.
SodaStream CEO Dan Birnbaum claims the line was rejected because Fox is "afraid of Coke and Pepsi." Both companies are airing ads of their own this year and Pepsi is the sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show.
"Which advertiser in America doesn't mention a competitor? This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I'm disappointed as an American," he added in his comments to USA Today.
Last year, SodaStream's ad was rejected by CBS for the same reason. The original version depicted Coke and Pepsi delivery men racing their bottles to a supermarket (with "Dueling Banjos" playing in the background), only to have the bottles pop. The ad then claims the at-home soda-making system could save 500 million plastic bottles on game day alone. The company aired a slightly different commercial at the network's request, which omitted the Coke and Pepsi references.
Birnbaum said he would take the SodaStream's money back if he could, but instead will eliminate the line for airing. Fox and Pepsi reportedly did not comment on the situation, but a Coca-Cola spokeswoman says the company did not pressure Fox to reject the ad.