Kevin Federline has a sense of humor about his upcoming Super Bowl ad for Nationwide Insurance, but some in the fast-food business aren’t smiling.
A top executive at the National Restaurant Association has blasted the commercial, which shows Britney Spears’s ex daydreaming about being a rap star but really working in a fast-food joint, for being “demeaning and unpleasant” to the nation’s 12.8 million restaurant workers, the New York Post reports.
The rep, Annika Stensson, believes the ad could have been done differently. “A sudden change in Federline’s career could have been depicted with him holding an unemployment benefit check,” she says. “It shouldn’t be necessary for a company to disrespect others to get its point across. …It’s a negative, unfair and inaccurate reflection. It’s not Kevin we take issue with, but the depiction of where he ends up.”
Stensson has complained officially in a letter to Nationwide CEO Jerry Jurgensen.
A spokesman for Nationwide, Eric Hardgrove, said the ad isn’t meant “to offend or insult the many fine individuals who work in the restaurant industry,” according to the Post. He said it is a “humorous take on one person’s life. …The focus of the ad is the element of surprise, not the setting of a fast-food restaurant.”
In the commercial, Federline’s journey from rap superstar to fry cook is meant to dramatize Nationwide’s slogan, “Life comes at you fast.”
Earlier this month, Federline told PEOPLE that the self-deprecating ad is the beginning of a “new Kevin” for 2007.
The Nationwide commercial is scheduled to premiere on the company’s Web site next Monday, before airing during the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.