Ads pulled in media scramble to cover disaster

LONDON - TV stations and newspapers raced to pull advertising and devote resources to news coverage as the horrific events in America unfolded.

ITV broadcast news continually for more than seven hours, cancelling more than 20 ad breaks. Channel 4 ran five-and-a-half hours of news with no ad breaks, while Sky News also held back all spots.

The Guardian pulled all the advertising from its main section, which featured 17 pages of coverage. The Mirror and The Sun dropped all ads from the front half of their papers. However, others stopped short of pulling spots. The Times and The Daily Telegraph both ran ads alongside pictures of the carnage, while the Daily Express ran a Hyundai double-page spread with a reference to flying.

Airlines have pulled their advertising from all media indefinitely, with holiday operators such as Lunn Polly also axing activity.

As the scale of the tragedy became clear, TV sales houses moved to view all scheduled ads and exclude those deemed as inappropriate. A Renault Scenic ad featuring a pilot and air stewardesses was pulled as a result, as was a Persil ad in which a child says he wants to be a pilot and the Red Bull spot showing a cartoon plane with no wings.

Granada, Carlton and Channel 4 are attempting to establish co-ordinated guidelines as to what advertising will be viewed as acceptable over the next few weeks.

Mick Desmond, Granada Broadcasting and Enterprises' managing director, denied that ITV would lose ad revenue as a result of the events. "The minutage lost will be scheduled later in September and October, so there won't be any loss of revenue for the year as a whole," he said.


Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).