LINCOLN PULLS CONTROVERSIAL SUPER BOWL AD

Spot Portrays Priest Lusting After Luxury Mark LT Truck

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln brand has cancelled its Super Bowl advertising appearance as a result of controversy over its spot depicting a priest's lust for a luxury Mark LT truck.
See the spot Lincoln has withdrawn from the Super Bowl.
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Decade-long absence
The upscale auto brand was to make a return to the National Football League's big game Feb. 6 with a 30-second commercial for the all-new 2006 Lincoln Mark LT. It has been more than a decade since Lincoln bought ad time during the Super bowl.

But Ford pulled the ad, which was created by WPP Group's Young & Rubicam Brands, Dearborn, Mich., after receiving complaints from an advocacy group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The group said the commercial, which showed a priest lusting after the Mark LT, was offensive.

Ford in a statement today said, "Lincoln has decided not to run the Lincoln Mark LT ad on the Super Bowl this Sunday. Of course we had no intention of offending anyone -- and we are frankly surprised there is a negative reaction."

Mustang ad
The automaker said it will instead run an existing ad for the Mustang convertible, called "Green Light," from WPP's JWT, Detroit. Ford had planned to run a 60-second spot for the convertible during the automaker-sponsored Ford Super Bowl Kickoff pre-game show.

It was not clear how Ford's marketing plans will change for the Mark LT; Super Bowl appearances generate plenty of buzz for marketers, which is why News Corp.'s Fox, which is broadcasting the game, can charge $2.4 million for a 30-second ad.

Jacksonville
Lincoln will still have a presence in Jacksonville, Fla., site of the game. the luxury pickup will be on display at the Sports Illustrated Super Swimsuit Party Feb. 5, and the automaker had sponsored a sweepstakes to send two winners to the Super Bowl.

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