Red Zone Sports Grill Pulls Controversial Ad

June 25, 2009 9:50:07 PM PDT
A radio station has yanked a controversial advertisement for a local sports bar. Some people felt it was insulting and offensive to homosexuals.The brand new Red Zone Sports Grill in Northeast Fresno hoped to create buzz with it's new ad campaign. But that buzz backfired and now the bar's management is apologizing.

105.1 the Blaze recently aired an advertisement listing 10 reasons you should get out of the house and get a beer at Red Zone restaurant.

What's missing from this revised version of the commercial is a line that was recently removed by 105.1 the Blaze.

Kelli Glazebrook with Straight Advocates for Equality or SAFE says she and others felt the ad was insensitive.

"It was really distressing to hear that when someone came out being gay or lesbian that would be something a parent would have to have a beer for," said Glazebrook

The Red Zone has since posted an apology on its website and in an email to "SAFE" Red Zone's General Manager, Spencer Burton writes, "So let us hope that this can be a learning experience for others as it has been for us. I think the best thing we here at Red Zone Sports Grill can do is continue to look at others by the content of their character, as we have always done."

Action News talked with Burton off camera. He says he went to the radio station and requested an edgy advertisement. Burton says he listened to it and approved it, but should have listened more carefully ? and many we spoke with agreed.

"It's ok to be funny and it's ok to make jokes sometimes, but when you're advertising it reflects on your business and why would you want your business to reflect that kind of attitude," said Anthony Lowe.

Carman McMindes said, "With the economy as slow as it is people will do just about anything to draw them in and sell them something, but I think it's tacky."

Others weren't so quick to rush to judgment.

Steven Guzman said, "Too many people take things too seriously. I think they just need to take it as a joke."

"Hopefully this was just an error in judgment. I'd have to make a decision based on the owner and what I felt about it," said Lowe.

Red Zone bills itself as the official watching place for Fresno State Sports. Kelli Glazebrook with "SAFE" says she plans to contact the university to talk with officials about the controversial comments.

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