Usually we hear of networks rejecting various Super Bowl ads over content or certain subject matter. But in this latest case, it’s the NFL that has stepped in to reject an ad from GNC. The Wall Street Journal reports that what was going to be GNC’s first Super Bowl ad was rejected by Fox after the company was told it wasn’t acceptable to the National Football League.

GNC is listed as a “prohibited company” by the NFL and its players union over banned substances that are in some of its products. In fact, players have been warned against forming any business relationships with GNC.

GNC’s executive vice president Jeff Hennion e-mailed the WSJ that while its ad was rejected by the NFL and Fox, it will run it on other outlets:

“While we are disappointed by Fox Sports/NFL’s late-in-the-game decision to exclude our ad from the Super Bowl, we continue to be excited about the campaign,” he said. “The ad will run in numerous media outlets and reach millions of people with genuine and inspiring stories of the courage to change.”

He continued:

“The NFL is one of many sports governing bodies, all with specific and widely varying policies,” Mr. Hennion added in the statement. “At GNC, we follow FDA regulations and our own strict standards to ensure customers know what’s in our products and that they are safe and of the highest quality.”

Fox has been charging a reported $5 million per 30 second ad and it’s not clear if GNC had already paid the asking price and if it will have to get refunded.

The rejection is a serious blow to GNC, as the company’s sales have suffered and customers have found items out of stock in addition to a confusing pricing structure. Stores were even closed for one day to fix the pricing system. And GNC was hoping that the Super Bowl’s viewership would bring not just eyeballs to its ad, but more people to its stores.

Now with the NFL’s rejection, GNC will have to find another avenue to get its ad seen…like the internet, days before the game! You can see it below:

[Wall Street Journal]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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