04/21/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
That startling Super Bowl commercial that showed paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve standing up and walking to accept an award is stirring controversy. Some viewers believed that the computerized dramatization was real, leading critics to claim that the ad -- for Nuveen Investments -- generated false hopes for those in situations similar to Reeve's. "We've received a number of phone calls from persons who are paralyzed or their parents or relatives, saying, 'What research institute did Mr. Reeve go to in order to receive his cure?' " Thomas Countee Jr., executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, told the Associated Press. Chris Allen, a spokesman for Nuveen, said the point of the ad was "to inspire a dialogue on money, to have a new dialogue and get away from buying bigger boats and bigger cars and think about the impact that money can have on the future."