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If you turned on the TV over the past few years, you might have seen swimsuit model Bar Refaeli noisily making out with a rosacea-hued “nerd” or model Kate Upton orgasming over a patty melt. But what you won’t see is this tame ad featuring an elderly couple sitting quietly on a park bench because it violated CBS’s “standards.”

Why? Because the ad was in support of the very NSFW porn site PornHub. And PornHub isn’t the only adult brand struggling to get its commercials on the air. Jasmin.com (formerly known as LiveJasmin) is an adult entertainment site allowing people to talk with women live on camera (think phone sex but for video chat). And despite bringing in between $800,000 and $1 million in revenue a day, according to Vice President Jerry Jardene, the brand has yet to find a way to promote itself on national television.

It recently produced an totally suitable-for-work advertisement directed by a “really well known director,” Jardene tells me, that depicts men crawling through a desert and chasing after a woman who ends up being a mirage (but it’s okay because she’s actually a laptop with Jasmin.com queued up on it).

It’s more risque than the Pornhub ad, but nowhere near some of GoDaddy’s offerings that have aired. But when submitting to the networks, Jasmin was told, “Unfortunately due to the content of the creative we will not be able to run it,” by Warner Bros’ VP of Media Sales Michael Kenny. Meanwhile, NBC Universal’s Megan Morahan responded, “I ran your spot by our standards group, and unfortunately we cannot accept advertising for Jasmin.com.”

Some have suggested that adult brands submit commercials they know will be rejected simply to capitalize on whatever residual publicity comes out of the rejection. But judging by the fairly high production quality of the ad (it definitely looks more expensive than the Pornhub spot at least) and after hearing Jardene’s outraged reaction when I spoke with him on the phone, I think Jasmin was legitimately surprised its ad was not accepted.

“I’m genuinely disappointed and shocked,” Jardene says. “It’s a very classy, well-done commercial. There’s nothing overly risqué about it and I feel the reason why the commercial was rejected was not the content, but what they feel our brand is.”

Well, isn’t Jasmin a porn site?

“We’re a lifestyle brand,” Jardene says. “We’re an entertainment company. So I feel like the rejection was done because of lack of research by the network.”

Regardless of whether you call the site “porn,” “adult entertainment,” or a “lifestyle brand,” facts are facts: Jasmin hosts and encourages pornographic content. And the woman in the ad isn’t wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, she’s wearing negligee (though she’s still more clothed than many of the women we see on national TV).

“Not only do Playboy get on television, they get an entire show on E!” says Jardene. “I think television from a cultural standpoint has already accepted adult entertainment brands as being more mainstream now. I think that we are just being unfairly treated by the network.”

Despite this setback, Jardene is convinced Jasmin will succeed in putting an advertisement on the air. It’s a struggle affecting more than just adult brands but also any company peddling a product that, while popular, may not be accepted in polite company. As marijuana legalization bills continue to pass across the country, will dispensaries or marijuana startups like Eaze try to break through to the television-watching masses? What about companies like Tinder, which has a reputation as being a “hookup app”? Or anonymity apps like Whisper and Secret where bullying and teen suicide is a concern?

For Jardene, his team is taking it one step at a time. “We might have to go to programming that’s a little bit more risqué,” he says. “We just landed a monthlong campaign with Howard Stern on Sirius XM.”

The company is in a bit of a Catch-22 because while Jasmin doesn’t want to be associated with pornography, its best bets for more mainstream marketing channels are on the more porn-y end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, Jardene is confident the networks will eventually come around.

“We are going to make sure these ads appear on television. we will exercise every possible option and do everything that we can to make sure.”

[screenshot via YouTube]