When CBS accepted an ad from the conservative group Focus on the Family, then rejected an ad for a gay dating site, a lot of liberals complained about double standards.
The Focus on the Family spot, an “advocacy ad,”  was designed to promote an anti-abortion message. The other ad was not an advocacy ad, because it promoted a specific service on a website that requires paid membership.
But beyond this, look at the way the two controversial issues were presented: the gay site ad featured two friends on a couch watching football. Their hands touch accidentally while reaching for a snack and suddenly they are overcome with a spark of infatuation and immediately start making out on the couch as a third friend looks on in shock. If that proverbial “young child”  is in the room, there’s no hiding the fact that two men are apparently making out, even though you don’t actually see kissing.
The ad featuring quarterback Tim Tebow and his mom, Pam, on the other hand, doesn’t even mention abortion. It doesn’t say she was advised to have one, it doesn’t say she was determined not to have one. And her reference to thinking about how many times she “can remember so many times” in which she “almost lost him.” She then says that even now, she still worries about his health. It makes it sound as if he had been a premature baby. The end of the spot features the web address where you read their whole story. But if you have a child in the room, there’s really nothing to explain, because the message is so unspecific that nothing controversial is really even implied.
As is almost always the case when a conservative group begins complaining about something they think is bad without waiting to see it first, this time it was the pro-choice crowd that made a molehill into a mountain. Though the actual spot didn’t mention the “a-word,” there wasn’t anyone, thanks to all the publicity, who didn’t know what the ad was about.
Still, from the standpoint of presenting a message that was over the top, while I didn’t think the gay site ad was inappropriate, by comparison, it’s far more “out there”  than the Tebows’ message is.