Restaurant group objects to K-Fed ad
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.'s 30-second spot shows Federline, who is estranged from pop princess Britney Spears, performing in a glitzy music video. However, the punch line is that he's daydreaming — while cooking french fries at a fast-food joint.
The ad amounts to a "strong and direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry," wrote National Restaurant Association President and Chief Executive Steven Anderson in a letter to Nationwide CEO Jerry Jurgensen.
The commercial "would give the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant," Anderson wrote.
If the Columbus-based insurer airs the spot during the televised Feb. 4 Super Bowl, Anderson said his organization will "make sure that our membership — many of whom are customers of Nationwide — know the negative implications this ad portrays of the restaurant industry."
A Nationwide executive shrugged off the criticism, saying that where humor is involved, there always will be somebody who doesn't get it.
The company doesn't mean to offend restaurant employees, said Steven Schreibman, vice president of advertising and brand management.
"We're not making fun of anybody, except maybe Kevin Federline."
Spears, 25, filed for divorce from 28-year-old Federline in November, after two years of marriage. They have two sons, 4-month-old Jayden James and 1-year-old Sean Preston.
Federline's debut rap album, Playing With Fire, sold a dismal 6,500 copies in its first week of release last fall.