Attorney General Knudsen urges CBS to drop Super Bowl ads from Chinese retailer
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen in a letter Saturday urged executives at Paramount Global and CBS Entertainment Group not to broadcast commercials from Temu – an online retail platform linked to the Chinese Communist Party – during Super Bowl LVIII.
Temu is owned by PDD Holdings, a company founded in China that has been credibly accused by members of Congress as being linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Congressional investigators also believe Temu is illegally selling products made by forced labor in Xinjiang, where the CCP is committing genocide. According to the Wall Street Journal, the online retailer purchased multiple ad units during this year’s Super Bowl and some reports indicate they have spent $15 million on the commercials this year.
“We write to urge CBS not to broadcast Super Bowl commercials from Temu. Congressional investigators believe Temu is illegally selling products made by forced labor in an area of China in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing genocide,” Attorney General Knudsen wrote. “CBS should not elevate a company profiting from forced labor and genocide during America’s biggest game.”
The United States House Select Committee on the CCP revealed Temu is failing to comply with American laws that prohibit the use of forced labor by Uyghurs and is in violation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFPLA). The company admitted “it does not have a policy in place to prohibit the sale of goods from Xinjiang—the location of the CCP’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs—on its platform.” Temu also “depends entirely on its China-based suppliers to voluntarily report violations of boilerplate terms and conditions.”
CBS and the National Football League have rejected far less controversial Super Bowl commercials in the past including one by a veteran-owned apparel company narrated by a Benghazi survivor and one that promoted the benefits of medical marijuana.
Additionally, the Super Bowl “has memorialized some of sports’ most patriotic moments.” In 1981, the Louisiana Superdome celebrated the return of American hostages from Iran; Whitney Houston sang the Star-Spangled Banner 10 days after Operation Desert Storm began; the New England Patriots won the first Super Bowl after 9/11; and each year images of American servicemen and women watching the game from the front lines around the work are broadcast during the game.
“Given the virtual guarantee that Temu is selling products made with forced labor in China and its links to the CCP, CBS should not broadcast Temu’s commercials during the Super Bowl. Americans deserve better,” the attorneys general concluded.
Attorneys general from Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, and South Carolina also signed the letter.
Click here to read the letter.