Remember earlier this week when we told you that Fox would not be running a GNC ad for the Super Bowl after the company believed it would get a spot? Apparently the NFL wasn’t a big fan of the idea because GNC sells products that have banned supplements from the league in them. So, the NFL vetoed the GNC ad for Super Bowl LI. I know, I know, that’s just SO UNLIKE THE NFL to meddle in things like that. 

Well, the NFL’s decision could cause big problems for Fox. Because now GNC is planning a lawsuit against the network thanks to their multi-million dollar ad being pulled and not reaching the hundred-plus million people they had planned on.

Via Ad Age:

According to the letter of intent dated today, Fox sold GNC a 30-second spot during the game’s first quarter and “induced GNC to spend millions of dollars in production costs and in the development of a national, coordinated marketing and rebranding campaign centered around this advertisement.”

“Fox did not inform GNC that the NFL had to approve GNC’s advertisement nor did Fox indicate that the NFL had a specific advertisement policy,” the document states. “To the contrary, Fox expressly approved the content of GNC’s advertisement two separate times.”

The document also alleges that Fox began promoting the benefits of Super Bowl advertising to GNC in, “at the latest, November 2016,” with one representative telling the brand that Super Bowl advertisers “‘on average garner more than 11% sales uplift in the month following the game,'” and that one Super Bowl spot “generates as much sales as 250 regular TV spots.'”

The Fox representative, according to the document, did not inform GNC that it was banned from NFL programming or subject to any NFL ad policy. “In reliance on these representations, GNC purchased a first-quarter spot in Super Bowl LI for several million dollars,” the letter reads.

If indeed this is the case here and GNC made a multi-million dollar ad thinking it would be airing during the Super Bowl only to have it pulled at the last minute, then you can’t fault the company here at all. If Fox approved the GNC ad and gave them no inkling that the NFL could get involved at any stage, then GNC has every right to be enormously upset here. There is only one Super Bowl and one opportunity to reach that large of an audience. Now GNC is stuck with a Super Bowl ad that they poured a ton of resources into that isn’t a Super Bowl ad. It’s a crappy situation all the way around.

Maybe GNC should send a message to Fox and the NFL by sponsoring some of Pat McAfee’s new stuff at Barstool as a small consolation.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.