Amid the dozens of salacious and humorous advertisements hawking everything from soda to cars that aired during last night's Super Bowl there was a somber and controversial ad that was brought to you in part by Mayor Thomas Menino.
A national coalition of mayors co-chaired by Menino that is pushing for stricter gun laws bought coveted air time during last night's game to run an ad that takes aim at the National Rifle Association.
The spot was made to highlight contrasting statements made by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre who on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday said that universal background checks on people buying guns wouldn't work.
The ad features a 1999 clip of LaPierre testifying before Congress and saying that the NRA supported "No loopholes anywhere. For anyone."
Menino's group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has been pushing for certain bans and tighter control on guns, including background checks for anyone who buys a firearm.
"Background checks are the best way to stop dangerous people from getting their hands on guns – that is why they have overwhelming support from Americans and even gun owners," Menino said in a statement. "The only people who don't agree are the leaders of the National Rifle Association. We can’t let them get in the way of this sensible reform – and that’s why we’re demanding that Congress take action and pass a background check bill that will make our neighborhoods safer."
Menino co-chairs the coalition of nearly 1,000 mayors with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Last week Menino was joined by dozens of Massachusetts mayors who supported the call for gun law reform and also recorded a public service announcement on the issue that will air at a later time.
Super Bowl ads are notoriously expensive because of the large television audience the event attracts. Some news agencies reported that the cost for a 30-second national spot this year was between $3 million and $4 million.
The coalition's ad was scheduled to air in the Washington, D.C. market in the third quarter break coming out of halftime.
A spokeswoman for Menino said the coalition doesn't confirm exact spending, but said the ad's cost was six figures.
The Mayors Against Illegal Guns was was a 30-second spot.