The simple, 30-second commercial was all set to run during CBS Sports’ broadcast of the Wrangler Champions Challenge rodeo.
“We just thought it’s around Sept. 11, Patriot Day, and rodeo is as patriotic a sport as it comes,” Dave Retter told the Tri-City Herald. “We’ve had so many positive responses, we felt it would be fun to run something positive.”
Retter, the owner of a real estate company in eastern Washington, also wanted to add a little local flavor as part of CBS Sports’ rodeo broadcast, which was going to air all the action from the Horse Heaven Round-Up at a fair in nearby Kennewick.
Then the fair director got an email from CBS Sports rejecting the commercial because of its “political nature,” the Herald reported.
Even though the commercial features nothing but Retter’s 4-year-old granddaughter reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Dave Praino, co-owner of PS Media, told the paper he’d never experienced a problem like that related to a client ad.
“It’s amazing,” he told the Herald. “I’m still trying to scratch my head to figure out what’s political about the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Praino told the paper he tried to get answers from CBS Sports but didn’t hear back. “We can’t even get a return phone call,” he added.
CBS Sports representatives didn’t return messages the Herald left on Thursday afternoon, the paper reported.
Retter wanted to run “Our Future” — one of two local businesses to sponsor the broadcast — instead of promoting his company, the Herald noted.
“Who cares about buying a home in Kennewick on national TV?” he asked the paper.
“Our Future” has aired on TV during patriotic holidays for about a year and a half, Praino said.
After the ad was rejected, Retter told the paper that his company substituted an ad featuring a World War II veteran who went on to become an agent for the company.
The rodeo airs at 5 p.m. Sunday.