An ad created by Israeli company SodaStream to air during the Super Bowl has been rejected by Fox, the network carrying the big game, because it contains a dig at big soda manufacturers Coca-Cola and Pepsi, it was reported over the weekend.
In the ad, available online, spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson extols the virtues of Soda Stream’s home carbonated beverage technology and, after strutting around a bit, ends by saying, “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”
Coke and Pepsi are major sponsors of the Fox network and the Super Bowl, and that fact caused the network to kill the ad, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told USA Today.
“What are they afraid of? Which advertiser in America doesn’t mention a competitor? This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I’m disappointed as an American,” Birnbaum said.
Fox demanded that the offending line be removed, so a modified version of the advertisement will be aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Companies — notably Internet provider GoDaddy — have had their ads banned from the Super Bowl before, which can result in additional publicity.
Though SodaStream had a commercial rejected in 2013 by then-Super Bowl host CBS, Birnbaum said that it was “not SodaStream’s intent” to create ads that would be rejected.
Israel-based SodaStream has been in the news since the company named Johansson the first-ever brand ambassador of its seltzer makers earlier this month, causing a backlash from the BDS movement which demanded that the star step down from the post.
Johansson released a statement Friday about the controversy surrounding her role as SodaStream brand ambassador, describing the firm as “building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine” and making clear that she would not stepping away from it.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.