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January 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life group that created the powerful abortion survivor TV ad played at the March for Life last week is calling out Fox Sports Network for stonewalling them and refusing to approve their ad to run in a slot on Super Bowl Sunday this coming weekend.
The ad, which features the faces and stories of abortion survivors, is designed to raise awareness of the survivors of abortion who all univocally make it clear that they are persons and not a “choice.” Faces of Choice applied to run a 30-second version of the ad. The ad doesn’t mention abortion. Faces of Choice says it has been carefully produced so that it is appropriate for the Super Bowl audience.
Lyric Gillett, founder of Faces of Choice, told LifeSiteNews she has invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of working hours after the network approved her storyboard for the advert months ago.
Gillett told LifeSite that the application was originally made in July, but that over the following months, members of the Fox legal department made a series of further inquiries without ever approving the application. Gillett said that they had answered every question the legal team asked and provided all necessary documentation.
“We were one of the very first people to submit anything to them. We met every single stipulation that they asked for and every time we met the line they moved the line further to request something else,” Gillett told LifeSite.
Gillett says that she was initially advised that they would be informed if the application was successful in October 2019. But no answer was given. “We were told over and over again ‘you’re going to get an answer’, but we never got anything,” she said.
Gillett told LifeSite that at one stage, they were told by the Fox legal department that they wanted to know everybody who was donating towards or sponsoring the ad. She told LifeSite that although this was “really an untenable request,” they nevertheless provided information on major figures who had supported the effort.
In November last year, Gillett said that she wrote to the legal team saying that the delay in approving the ad meant that they risked going past the time of year when potential sponsors would commit to making financial donations. She says that she was then told on a Friday that they would be given an answer on the following Monday, because the relevant personnel at Fox didn’t work over the weekend. The following Monday Gillett says she was informed that the advertising slots had sold out.
Advised by her experienced media buyer that additional slots always become available at a later date, Gillett asked the Fox legal team to authorize the application so that they would be eligible to secure any slots that might become available. That request for authorization was refused. When Fox announced last week that more slots had become available, Gillett re-submitted the application but has had no response thus far.
“I think it’s very clever what they’re doing. If they directly said ‘no’ then we could say ‘this is asinine, look at the suitable ad that Fox rejected’, but they haven’t directly said ‘no,’ they’ve ignored us, wasted our time, refused to give an answer and refused to either give us clearance or simply say ‘no,’” Gillett said.
Gillett told LifeSite that the abortion survivors featured in the ad “have been ignored their whole lives and that they now faced being ignored again.”
LifeSite has contacted Fox to ask why the Faces of Choice application has not been approved or if they can provide any comment on the claim that Faces of Choice have “been given the runaround” by the network. Fox did not respond by the time of publication.
In a press statement, Gillett stressed the potential positive impact the ad could have for the pro-life movement and unborn babies.
“Every great human rights movement in history has been anchored in the stories and the faces of its victims,” she said. “That’s what we aim to do; we simply want to tell their forgotten stories and there’s no larger mega-phone than the Super Bowl. After months of correspondence with the Fox Sports Network, we are asking for a definitive answer immediately.”
Faces of Choice is now working on a campaign with My Faith Votes to run a petition and email campaign asking Fox Sports Network to approve and air the ad.
“Fox Sports needs to hear from thousands of pro-life Americans, today,” said CEO of My Faith Votes, Jason Yates. “There’s no time to wait. Go online now and sign the petition.”
Americans who want the ad accepted and played during the Super Bowl are encouraged to sign the petition and join the email campaign being run by Faces of Choice and My Faith Votes.
Barbara De Santis, Senior Vice President, Standards & Practices at Fox Corporation
Email: [email protected]
Readers may also wish to call Fox at 888-369-4762