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Hazing News

MasterCard Commercial: Not Priceless–Tasteless

MasterCard doesn’t seem to know that hazing isn’t all a matter of yuks. Just this week we have a trial involving Michigan youngsters in which the hazing involved sexual assault.  But MasterCard played its master card this week in using Peyton Manning in a debunking commercial in which he makes fun of taping a rookie to a goal post. MasterCard now joins Snapple, Pizza Hut (which pulled its commercial), and ESPN as a corporate sponsor using hazing or hazing-like behaviors to sell a product.

The commercial ends with this Manning line: “No, we don’t do any of that stuff. We’re football players; usually we just tape the smallest guy to the goal posts and call it a day.”

Taking blame for the tasteless commercial, besides Manning, are the following:  McCann Erickson/New York: Joyce King Thomas EVP, Chief Creative Officer, Matt O’Rourke, Group Creative Director, Mat Bisher, Senior Art Director, Jason Schmall, Senior Copywriter, Julie Andariese VP, Executive Producer.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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