AshleyMadison.com, which matches married people looking to have affairs, got plenty of press last month when they announced that they'd be placing this ad in the Super Bowl program.
Officials for the dating Web site said that they were approached and they signed a six-figure contract for the ad with PSP Sports, which creates and sells ads in many official programs for sporting events.
But we've just learned that, even in this economy, not everything is fair game.
Noel Biderman, CEO of AshleyMadison.com, told CNBC that his ad was eventually rejected and was specifically told that the company wouldn't be allowed to advertise in any NFL game program until the end of time.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that no one in the league office actually ever saw the ad. "After realizing what the site was, the sales rep called back and told the company there was a mistake and that his company could not sell an ad to the site."
Biderman thinks his inability to advertise is hypocritical.
"I find the rejection to be ridiculous given that a huge percentage of the NFL's marketing content is for products like alcohol, which they sell in their stadiums, promote on their air and clearly have in the magazine," Biderman said. "That's a product that literally kills tens of thousands of people each year. So if the NFL is worried about legislating behavior and regulating what their audience should be exposed to then it should start with a ban on all alcohol advertising and products being sold, not AshleyMadison.com."
AshleyMadison.com, a Canadian company, has been in existence for seven years, but has only been advertising in the U.S. for about a year and half.
"We don't intend to let this pass," Biderman said. "This is our core audience and we will find a way to let them know about the existence of this service."
The last program controversy occurred last year when the NCAA decided to remove a full-page ad for Hooters in its Final Four program.
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