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Why Would The NFL Force Toyota To Pull An Ad About Protecting Players From Concussions?

from the does-not-compute dept

Copycense points us to the news that the NFL apparently freaked out and pressured Toyota to edit a TV ad it was running during football games -- a move many people noted was "unusual." Apparently, the ad discusses how Toyota is using some of their research and technology in car safety for other fields -- such as helping to prevent concussions for football players. You can see the ad here, with the "offending" part at around 17 seconds:
I'm trying to figure out what the NFL was upset about. Here's a story of how efforts are being made to make the game even safer. That seems like a good thing -- the kind of thing that the NFL should be celebrating. Does it think that, if it hides the image of helmets colliding, people will magically think people don't get hurt playing football? And, of course, in pressuring Toyota to remove this commercial, all its done is draw a lot more attention to it. Toyota's response was apparently not to remove the ad entirely, but to just edit out that helmet-to-helmet crash. Well, phew, now football feels safe again, right?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    johnjac (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Fear

    Reminds me of a great quote I just heard from a podcast with Merlin Man

    "Has being fearful of something ever prevented bad stuff from happening? The universe doesn't care if you are afraid"

    I'd say to this: Reality doesn't care about your TV ad.

     

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  2.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Of course the NFL would freak out. We can't let mommy even consider that her precious snowflake might get hurt, or else no mommy ever will let her children play football again!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    The NFL is very much aware that they have an issue with concussions. They have taken steps this year to reduce them, mostly be enforcing rules to punish those who use "helmet to helmet" tackling methods.

    What I suspect the NFL objects to is Toyota trying to paint their brand as "good" on the backs of people who have been injured, and on the back of the NFL as a whole. It's that whole "don't shit where you eat" thing. If Toyota wants to crap on the NFL, even indirectly, they should do it somewhere else.

     

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  4.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Typical NFL response

    This is the NFL's standard head-in-the-sand approach. It's the same mentality they take about helmets. Even though there are a few helmets that are clinically proven to be better at reducing the risk of concussions, the NFL won't endorse or encourage their players to wear these safer helmets for fear that they'll be sued if/when a player wearing one sustains a concussion.

     

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  5.  
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    John Doe, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    What is just as sad...

    What is just as sad as the NFL's reaction is that Toyota would give in. If they feel they are really doing good, then why give in to such pressure?

     

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  6.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    NFL Concussion Injury coverup contiues.

    Yep this is one where people with common sense are excluded. Block the ad and get accused of a coverup when it goes public. They should have just thrown in with Toyota and announced a joint study.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Anonymouse

    Umm... where exactly did the Toyota commercial mention this was an NFL game? All the NFL has succeded in doing is standing up and saying "OMG they're talking about concussions... that must be a negative reference to us!"

    Then again, this is typical of the over-the-top corporate mentality at the NFL.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    The NFL doesn't want people thinking about long term brain damage because no matter what kind of helmet used, it won't elimate the problem. The players are too strong and too fast and too heavy, unless you change that, brain injury can't be eliminated.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    "What I suspect the NFL objects to is Toyota trying to paint their brand as "good" on the backs of people who have been injured, and on the back of the NFL as a whole"

    Uh...what?

    So, let me get this straight:

    Some guy discovers the cure for the common cold and he announces:

    "People of the world! I have discovered the cure for the common cold!"

    or

    "People of the world! I am working on a cure for the common cold!"

    And soon enough he'll have angry mobs attacking him for trying to make himself look "good" at the expense of the people that are suffering of the common cold.

    Is that it?

    And this is reasonable how?

     

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  10.  
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    FarSide (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: What is just as sad...

    ...because they want their ad aired during NFL games

     

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  11.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re: Typical NFL response

    Perhaps this is a good example for the need for at least some level of Tort Reform so, for example, the NFL could endorse a safer helmet without fear of lawsuit (unless they were to claim it would eliminate concussions and it doesn't).

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: NFL Concussion Injury coverup contiues.

    The brains of most top executives are not wired to think like this. For the last generation the have let the lawyers and accountants run their businesses for them. The corporate instinct is now to try to control everything and maximize quarterly profits. Concepts like forward thinking, common sense, and civic responsibility have been bred out of the modern boardroom. Twenty years ago this problem would have been turned over to the Public Relations department and let them try to spin it to a positive angle. Now the instinct is to kill the messenger.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    Below average, I'll give it a 4/10.

    It was a bit long, if you were able to make this a bit more concise I can see it easily getting a higher score.

     

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  14.  
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    Benny6Toes (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re: Typical NFL response

    I can so no way in which this has anything to do with a fear of lawsuits from players. The NFL already mandates that its players wear protective gear, and its understood that it will not prevent injury. It will certainly lessen the possibility of injury, but nobody thinks it will prevent it entirely. The same goes for helmets, and if it didn't, then we'd have already seen hundreds of lawsuits by players (more likely the NFLPA) against the NFL.

    No, this is the NFL trying to save face with the public because of the abysmal response and whitewashing of the concussion problem. The NFL could simply mandate the type of helmet players use as part of standard equipment, but they haven't and probably won't. And this is why they freaked.

     

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  15.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    I still dont get it....

    How did the NFL end up owning football as a whole? They act like they do, and it certainly seems like they do.

     

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  16.  
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    Wayne, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: yeah that's about the silliest comment I've seen in the past 10 mins.

    Toyota is not explicitly or implicitly saying that they are good and football is bad. My readon this is that "Sh*t happens and our plastics try to reduce that." Reasonable?

     

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  17.  
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    Charles, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    I really don't like Toyota... even to say I hate them... and all toyota is doing is trying to convince people that they massively didn't screw up and congress WAS going to rip their head off before this whole oil spill

     

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  18.  
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    Tod C, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    You missed the article

    There was an article that explained that the NFL asked them to edit out the helmet to helmet contact, not to drop the entire commercial. Recent research shows even padded helmet to helmet contact is very bad long term, and the NFL is trying to discourage it, and didn't want any suggestions that it was "safe" because of a helmet.

     

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  19.  
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    DJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Rhetoric

    "just edit out that helmet-to-helmet crash. Well, phew, now football feels safe again, right?"

    Kind of like Congress wanting to ban "violent words"....

     

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  20.  
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    Jason, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    HIT HARD!

     

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  21.  
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    DJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Tangent...

    It's also a reasonable point that the more protective gear people wear, the more risks they are willing to take. I don't have any data about footbal injuries in, say, the '40s, but I'm willing to bet they were at least different from what we see now; if not less severe.

    One thing I do know is that Rugby has sacred few injuries beyond the superficial, and they wear NO protective gear.

    Just sayin....

     

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  22.  
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    DJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: I still dont get it....

    They DON'T?!?!

     

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  23.  
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    DJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    Umm...huh?
    Apparently you weren't paying attention to ACTUAL news so I'll sum it up for you:

    1)British Petrolem (BP) applied to the state of Louisiana to drill in shallow water.
    2)Louisiana approved BP's request
    3)OBAMA said "No you have to go drill in excessively deep water where no one else is drilling" (paraphrase)
    4)BP's rig exploded
    5)massive amounts of oil leaked (not spilled) into the GoM.

    Toyota didn't play a part in that; unless you count that they make devices powered by petroleum products

     

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  24.  
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    DJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re: You missed the article

    Yeah, once again a corporation is buying into the premise that the general public is stupid, and therefore can't differentiate between "reduce" and "prevent/eliminate".

     

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  25.  
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    Jason, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Rhetoric

    OR perhaps the only thing the NFL took issue with is what they perceived to be the promotion of helmet-to-helmet tackling methods.

    Is it that unreasonable for the NFL to say, "Hey we really don't want our ad money going to model bad tackling that will scramble people's brains."?

     

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  26.  
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    Jason, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Rhetoric

    Nope, I was wrong. Clicking through shows it was just a face issue.

    Too bad.

     

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  27.  
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    Kevin (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: What is just as sad...

    Fox,CBS,NBC makes the choice on what ads play and what do not. They already payed the NFL for the right to carry the game and do not have a word on what is advertised.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually...just before the oil spill Toyota was facing serious inquiries about how their safety for their cars were falling through the 7th level of hell. how they had been cutting corners. how they tried to cover up an issue with the accelerators on their cars. Then BP hit and Toyota was no longer in the lime light.
    As for the BP stuff, Yes Louisiana approved the spot however BP miscalculated where the spot was. it moved. it was no longer up to Louisiana and it was up to the Federal government (The approval for the deep water drilling was before Obama's time) BP cut corners as did the people they worked with to start drilling. They continued on and pushed in the sake of greed. Now we have extra dark fish oil.

    We are only human. We make mistakes. Some get caught, some don't. All I know is, when I take Colace(powerful laxative), my poop stinks.

     

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  29.  
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    Fred, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Concussions

    People are slowly warming to the idea that contact sports - particularly for young growing youth - is simply stupid. These athletes are basically doing brain damage to themselves as they keep pounding their heads into brick walls. A broken bone is one thing - but if Football becomes the sport of brain damage, then it will probably go the way of boxing.

     

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  30.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Tangent...

    Me and my roomies have talked about this. You see it now and you will see it more. Helmet to Helmet calls where the QB or receiver actually put their head down into the on coming tackler and caused a Helmet to helmet collision causing the defender to get the penalty.

     

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  31.  
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    bdhoro (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Soon the NFL will edit out any tackling when you're watching the game.

    How many fans aren't rooting for their team's d-line to seriously injure the other team's QB? (probably the same number of fans who want to draft the other team's QB)

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

    They did - the video shows COLLEGE football, not the NFL

     

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  33.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: NFL Concussion Injury coverup contiues.

    perhaps they have had so many helmit clashes when playing that the execs cant think anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Rhetoric

    Here's a story of how efforts are being made to make the game even safer.

    I wasn't aware it was already safe. Of course I also don't know why a game with people running around carrying an egg shaped thing is called football.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 6:25am

    The fact is that helmet to helmet contact while in fact is dangerous, isn't the only long term major damage that happens to the brain. The low impact contact to the head that takes place on ever block that lineman make causes the same, long term damage.

    This isn't limited to football either, studies have shown that soccer players that head the ball a lot also suffer brain damage.

    One big hit can hurt the brain, but all the little hits can add up to the same damage.

    Will football ever be banned? I doubt it, but it is something to consider.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    james howard, Mar 27th, 2014 @ 1:03am

    Car accident

    I asked a representative of Toyota company about the dispute between company and NFL.According to my information, there is no any solid reason and it is just a game against Toyota.
    Automotive repairs

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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