Are they within their rights...yes clearly. They can reject anything for any reason really as far as I'm concern. Did they do the "right" thing...no. Product is legal, advertisement is within the guidelines as they are written. An ad for guns is no more going to get me to buy a gun I don't want than a beer commercial can convince me to drink that crap.
Companies don't have to do the "right" thing. They do what they believe is right to be profitable within a generic set of moral standards. Period.I have no problem with that gun ad. But I totally see why the NFL doesn't want it run during the Super Bowl.
No one asked if they have to do the right thing. They asked if they did the right thing. That is two different measures. The funny thing here is you want to be some hyper-realist but what the NFL did is the opposite to that sort of hard boiled realism. They turned down cash for advertising a legal product within their guidelines for nothing more than moral reasoning. There is no way you can tell me that you think running that ad would cost the NFL one dollar of marginal income. It might result in some spilled bottled water in editorial rooms at the NYT but that isn't their core demographic anyways.
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.