Jeff Bezos pulled the plug on a $27 million ($US20 million) Super Bowl ad for his space-flight company, Blue Origin, after it was revealed his mistress had helped shoot footage for the commercial, sources told Page Six.
Instead, the Amazon owner had a last-minute commercial created for his Washington Post, with some all-star narration by Tom Hanks.
TV insiders said Mr Bezos nixed the space-exploration ad when his affair with Lauren Sanchez went public.
Ms Sanchez, a former TV anchor and helicopter pilot, has been shooting aerial footage of Blue Origin rocket launches and landings for Mr Bezos.
“Bezos did shoot a Blue Oracle ad, costing around $15 to $20 million, that was scheduled to run during the Super Bowl,” a source said.
“There was talk that he spent so much money on it because he wanted to be close to her. But the speculation is that he pulled the ad because it would be embarrassing because Lauren worked on the ads.”
However, Mr Bezos was front and centre at the Super Bowl. The billionaire partied with Patriots owner Bob Kraft — without Sanchez — and was spotted with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the game.
Ads for Amazon’s Alexa ran during the game, as did an Amazon Prime commercial, plus The Washington Post spot in the fourth quarter.
The Washington Post reported that it purchased the ad spot when it became available last week, and it produced its commercial — which stresses the importance of a free press and the dangers journalists face — in just one week.
It did not say how much it paid CBS to run the ad, but the network reportedly was charging a record $7.2 million ($US5.25 million) for a 30-second slot.
It’s not clear if the Washington Post ad was added as a replacement for the Blue Origin commercial or if one of the other Amazon ads filled that slot.
This article originally appeared in theNew York Post and has been reproduced here with permission.