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

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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