Intuit Does Not Advance NORML to Round 3 in Super Bowl Ad Contest

Today, Intuit announced the 20 finalists who moved on to Round 3 of their “Small Business, Big Game” contest. Despite finishing first in the initial round of public voting (Intuit removed the ability to sort by vote popularity during the second round) and generating hundreds of media hits through Round 2, Intuit, for reasons not communicated to NORML, decided not to advance our entry to the latest round in the contest.

(NOTE: Intuit had opened the contest up to non-profit organizations, which NORML is. We also met their requirements in both staff and budget for being a “small business”)

“It is unfortunate that Intuit seems to be relying more on outdated political values instead of overwhelming public opinion when it comes to selecting which entries advanced in their contest,” noted NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “As demonstrated by the outpouring of support and positive media coverage for our entry, the country was ready and eager to see an ad for sensible marijuana law reforms during the most watched TV program of the year. This could’ve been a win for all groups involved, but instead Intuit will likely have only generated ill will for itself amongst the 58% of Americans who now support ending our country’s war on marijuana.”

Though NORML has been excluded from Round 3 of the contest, our entry was covered by countless media outlets across the country. You can view a list of some of these media stories below:

Fox Business Network

Fox Business Network Part 2

East Bay Express

Digital Journal

NY Daily News

USA Today

Advertising Age


Huffington Post

Seattle Pi

Business Week


AOL (video also aired on local news stations)


Death and Taxes

The Weed Blog

Sports Illustrated

Brand Channel

The Daily Chronic

Think Progress

KTVB (Local Broadcast Idaho)

WHAS11 (Broadcast Channel Kentucky)


Democrat and Chronicle



The Tennessean

Courier Journal

Medical Daily


Opposing Views



Marshfield News Herald

Stevens Point Journal


Elite Daily


Celebrity Cafe


NORML would like to thank all of those who supported us in this effort. Thanks to your passion, Super Bowl Ad or not, we still took the message of legalization across the country and generated substantial conversation on this important issue. As PR expert Peter Madden stated on our entry to USA Today, even without an ultimate victory in the contest, NORML already won big. “This isn’t PR gold,” Madden stated, “It’s PR platinum.”

83 thoughts

  1. What a shame, Intuit, this could have been something beautiful. I for one, will be boycotting every one of your products.

  2. This is so disappointing. This would have been a great opportunity to get Norml’s message out, but I was kind of expecting something like this to happen. Intuit wants to use this competition to make themselves look good, and an ad for the legalization of marijuana unfortunately is not what they are looking for, but I am disappointed none the less.

  3. Wow, talk about good timing: was just about to purchase their QuickBooks…need to reconsider.

    What annoys me most is not making rules that would have prevented the NORML entry, then not advancing based on their own rules.

    Sometimes makes you wonder if the CEO’s of these companies are really anti-drug to the point of being unaware of actual facts…or…are part of the illegal drug trade.

  4. They need sued for false advertising, cost of NORML’s advertising to get votes, and anything else. Even if NORML can’t win at least it would cost Intuit lots money to defend there position in court, and hopefully put them out of business forever!

    Boycott on Intuit sounds appropriate.

  5. I will boycott Intuit. I use Progressive car insurance because CEO Peter B. Lewis publicly and monetarily supports marijuana legalization. Norml should post a list of pro- and anti- marijuana companies. Voting with ones dollars has always been a more worthwhile vote than any government voting.

  6. Just as Eric Holder won’t be forgotten, neither will Intuit or anyone else that drinks the Anslinger KoolAid. I for one will not.

  7. This should be something we can rally around. Everyone knows this add got more votes than most but because of political reasons we will be forced to watch beer commercials throughout the whole game while they continue to discriminate against a drug which is far safer. I truly hope this isn’t the end of this issue. Something needs to be done.

  8. I agree with what Ross said about trying to start a list of companies that support marijuana. I think that is the only way to wake up these big companies who are being control. Hit then where it hurts.

  9. It has nothing to do with Intuit. It was previously specified that the winning ads had to meet certain advertisement standards set by FOX. Even if the ad had one and Intuit allowed it, FOX would have axed it.
    Stop moaning and whining and talking about boycotting, it really makes you all look stupid. There are far better ways to voice and give support to NORML and their cause.

  10. @Ross

    I like your suggestion. Does anyone know if such a list has been compiled? If not NORML, maybe MPP or DPA.

  11. Is it possible to file a lawsuit on this, so the discovery process can ascertain if the ad actually was in the final mix and was taken out on purpose?

  12. Unfortunately, for you my boss is an avid smoker. He’s also the CEO of one of the Larger Oil Companies in the US. He just called me up over Skype, after sharing this link. We’ll be moving 55,000 EE’s from Intuit Payroll Services to ADP. Your loss.

  13. What a foul move on intits. everyone should let them know personaly it’s childish to change the game after its started.
    Legalizie it

  14. I am boycotting them for sure! I will gladly pay more for any product (if need be), but one thing for sure is…I will NO Longer use Intuit products!

  15. wonder if all that voted in the contest in support of NORML could kick in $10 and buy a spot (15sec) during the superbowl? have ‘us’ come up w/ the spots and compete [like doritos does] to see show makes it to the super bowl – generating alot of ‘free’ press in the process.

  16. It’s disheartening to see intuit pull a stunt like this and remove NORML when they are the obvious front runner. However, I like the way you guys are handling the situation. Although you didn’t get the Superbowl commercial, you might as well have with the amount of PR you got in the process. The amount of times your commercial has been discussed across news networks already is a victory in itself.

    I believe you guys could take this a step further. Right now you have the momentum of the internet and a great commercial. I feel you should start a kickstarter campaign or some other crowd-funded campaign to purchase your own Superbowl time slot to air your commercial. An event such as this could be the big push legalization needs right now.

  17. I voted every single day during the contest! We did not win a rigged contest, but intuit knows who really won. I agree with others that sugggested a list of who is naughty and nice business should be published.

  18. @kyle I can’t think of a larger venue than a Superbowl ad to get out a message for all to see. I, like most of these fellow bloggers, visited NORMLS’, then Intuits’ website on a daily basis to vote for NORML. I’m sure we won by a landslide. To believe there are 20 entrants ahead of us…. well, that’s just ridiculous. Running a rigged contest is illegal everywhere, even the internet. So what if Fox axed the ad, the publicity of that action would have made our efforts well worth it. Intuit is throwing it in our faces and we don’t like it. That doesn’t make us stupid, just angry that our efforts went for naught. So you, and all the other Intuit dogs out there, can GO TO HELL!

  19. Why am I not surprised ? I don’t know why they even opened up the process if they knew all along that they never had any intention of allowing NORML to run the ad.

  20. So why does NORML need to rely on Intuit? There should be a Superbowl Commercial Fund link on NORML’s homepage with a progress meter so people could see how much has been collected towards the SPECIFIC GOAL of airing a Superbowl commercial to over 160 million TV viewers, not to mention the global press coverage and reviews of it! I’d donate $20!

  21. I work for several small businesses and I will advise them to stay away from Intuit. If they won’t play by their own rules them I cannot trust them. And the worst part, they have a good product but moral integerity takes precdence.

  22. Well people, here is a time to spread this ALL over the internet. Let Intuit know that we have their “number” now!!! ANYONE AND EVERYONE needs to facebook,pin,tweet,ping,pong,youtube,etc.etc.etc the news about Intuits callus, unfair and seriously bullshxtted attitude. I will NOT use anymore of intuits products or services and I will SPREAD THE WORD ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE I KNOW HOW!! SINCE I HAVE ACCESS TO JUST UNDER 3 MILLION ACCOUNTS (CAN NOT DEVULGE MY ASSETS) THOSE 3 WILL CERTAINLY LEAD TO NO LESS THAN 150 MILLION (IF YOU KNOW STATISTICS IT IS ACTUALLY WOULD BE CALCULATED AT 500 x 3,000,000) a potential 1.5 billion will receive this info over the next 6 weeks +/- 10 days!!!

  23. Sorry, did not read Kyles reply. Where do you get your info.? Sounds like you may be knowledgeable, how about giving us all your basis on your reply, what are your facts? Either specify what you are talking about or crawl back under the porch!!

  24. @Ross, Galileo Galilei: YES! That’s what I was grasping at in earlier comments, that we have the majority and now we should start voting with our dollars–AND letting those companies know why we’re choosing this company vs. that company.

    Most companies are cooperating with the Drug War, including drug testing, because they think it’s getting them good PR. We need to start making them aware that the majority is now anti-Drug War and pro-legalization, contrary to what they assume, and that they would do well to take that into consideration in their future political stances.

    Add to @TLC: It’s not just PR that has these companies supporting the Drug War and it’s many anti-American tactics: It’s also the opportunity to weasel into the private lives and bodies of their employees so they can know who to hire, who not to hire, and who to keep on part-time because you don’t want to pay for health insurance for someone on diabetic or heart medication (or, god forbid, birth control). In 88, the WA police were caught using drug testing samples to screen female employees for pregnancy, and if they got caught illegally misusing drug testing samples this way once, do you really think they’ve stopped? Especially since the drug testing industry is about as unregulated and lacking in any kind of oversight or independent “quality control” testing as the DEA itself?

    They, and their insurance companies, simply adore the idea of being able to force you to hand over a sampler platter of intimate bodily fluids that they can get away with testing for anything they want, thus forcing people to indirectly answer questions about their health that employers are legally prohibited from answering. What employer doesn’t want to protect their loophole through the Americans with Disabilities Act?

  25. Publish a list of companies Against marijuana legalization. Maybe those who have contributed to anti-drug charities or anti-marijuana candidates.

    When people can see the political position of companies they deal with on a regular basis it will have powerful results. Balance will be restored eventually…

  26. Boycott the super bowl. If they lost 10% of their veiwers you can bet changes would be made. It isn’t gonna be on at my house!

  27. I haven’t bought a Kellogg’s product since they dumped Michael Phelps. What’s one more company that I sidestep. Boycotting won’t destroy a company like Intuit, but hopefully it’ll send a message to them. NORML itself probably can’t spearhead any sort of movement, but nothing stopping us crazy lawless supporters from organizing something. Send emails, letters, etc.

  28. This is the same story from when Obama put up his website and asked for the public’s input. NORML got laughed off by the Chimp-In-Chief. Until Demos and corporations start feeling the hit to their vote totals and pocketbooks from us, they won’t care about us.

  29. I think the real loss will come when the winner of the contest is declared. They’ll be viewed as undeserving. Intuit is going to place a stigma on the winner(looser) by behaving this way. Hopefully some of the organizations will see this and withdraw. Free air time would be a big thing to pass up if you’re a non-profit looking for a leg up. To be remembered as the unfair or undeserving winner is certainly not the image any non-profit wants to garner. This makes it bad for all evolved.
    Hindsight at some point will be 20/20 for Intuit and missing out on their moment in history to shine will be a tragic loss for all.

  30. Whole 50 Untied States of America and Washington, D.C. must to vote both marijuana and hemp plants into full legalization for our Rights in order to keep Civilization and Habitation for fuel, oil, cooking oil, foods, clothes, necessary tools, surgery tools, papers, outside materials as tents + boats, building materials, recreational use and medicines. GOD created both marijuana and hemp plants so we vote it, legalize it, regulate it, tax it and turn it into Life of Habitation. We the people must vote to keep Safety Laws in order to live by Peace and Harmony and Love and Education and Habitation. We the People must change mind of Intuit to do advance NORML in Super Bowl ads contest for our Rights to live in Living of Habitation and Education. GOD will name it and Bless it, AMEN!

  31. Call them (650) 944-6000 and let them know how you feel. Hit “0” to talk to an operator. Tell the person that marijuana legalization is supported by 58% of the country and is NOT controversial. And that a software company should not fall behind the times.

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