The Fox television network, which is airing the Super Bowl, has demanded changes to SodaStream’s commercial for the big game — but not for the reasons that have made the company controversial.
Fox honchos want the Israeli home beverage company to edit out a line at the end of the commercial where a sultry Scarlett Johansson takes a shot at soft drink giants, saying “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi,” USA Today reported.
Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, told USA Today that it had no choice but to drop the line, but complained to the newspaper that Fox rejected the Super Bowl commercial “because they’re afraid of Coke and Pepsi.”
CBS, which aired the Super Bowl last year, took a similar action against SodaStream’s spot for that game.
Ironically, the networks have no objections to the Israeli company’s controversial operations in the occupied West Bank.
Johansson has raised a storm of criticism after she signed up to be the face of SodaStream and appear in the Super Bowl ad.
The company targets a socially conscious consumer with its soda-making system, which may reduce the need for users to buy soda in cans or bottles.
But SodaStream operates in a Jewish settlement on the West Bank, which many activists say bolsters the 47-year occupation of the Palestinian territory.
Johansson has already faced pushback from fans and from Oxfam, the global anti-hunger group, which chided the liberal actress for flouting its policy that the occupation should end.