Headache: NFL Calls Foul On Toyota Ad, Spot Changed

In a rare occurrence for a TV copyright owner -- not a TV network -- the National Football League forced sponsor Toyota Motor Corp. to change a television commercial after it ran. The spot involved helmet-to-helmet football contact.

The spot ran on an ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game. According to a Reuters report, the message was instantly flagged by NFL officials. In it, Toyota explained how it adapted its technology -- when it comes to automobile collisions -- to that of the collisions among football players, especially college football players.

"The NFL saw it on "Monday Night Football" and the next morning we got the call," Tim Morrison, corporate marketing communications manager for the Toyota division in the United States, told Reuters. "They weren't happy."

Although the spot includes video of players and computer renditions of football player collisions, it did not mention the NFL. The NFL wanted the entire commercial spot removed, but per Reuters, Toyota re-edited the commercial and removed the offending imagery.

Medical issues surrounding the NFL -- and football in general -- have been a major topic over the last year, especially the long-term effects of concussions due to violent hits by football players. The league says it took new steps to protect its players from concussions.



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