The network has a policy of prohibiting advocacy ads, even ones that carry an "implicit" endorsement for a side in a public debate. A CBS spokesman did say the network will review the video version of the spot before giving it the final green light, but does not anticipate any hurdles.
There has been speculation that Focus on the Family might use the Super Bowl platform to offer a pro-life message. That came after it was announced that college football star Tim Tebow would be featured in the ad and it would carry a "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life" theme.
Tebow's mother, who will join him in the 30-second ad, was advised when she was pregnant with Tim to have an abortion, due to complications. She has said her faith persuaded her to carry to term. The ad shares a "personal story." Focus on the Family also pushes issues such as "the value of children" and the need for responsible parenting, which appear to be more in line with a message that CBS executives would clear for air. The group has been utilizing a strategy that many Super Bowl advertisers employ: Announce that an ad has been bought, but hold off on releasing details in order to generate pre-game interest.
A spokesman for the organization did not immediately return a call for comment on Tuesday. CEO Jim Daly is expected to conduct interviews to help draw further attention to the ad over leading up to the Feb. 7 kickoff. Over the years, CBS has rejected Super Bowl ads on the grounds that they advocate one side in matters where "substantial elements of the community (are) in opposition to one another." A pro-life spot would appear to fall under that umbrella.