Ad Blackouts Planned for 9/11

Aug 15, 2002
George Anderson

Retailers, including Target and Sears, are putting off their advertising plans for the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack, reports

Target will not air regularly scheduled TV commercials on September 11, according to a company spokesman. It will place an ad in a memorial section planned for The New York Times, he says.

Sears plans to go dark on September 11, a spokeswoman says. It will reschedule its ads for other times, and proceed with sales events planned for the following weekend, she adds.

Moderator Comment: Will retailers and other marketers suffer any lasting adverse effects should they advertise their businesses/brands on September 11th?

The August 5, 2002 issue of Advertising Age included a report on a consumer study conducted by WPP Group’s Lightspeed Research. Findings included:

  • Fifty-one percent of consumers say companies should refrain from running advertising on the anniversary of last year’s terrorist attacks.
  • Thirty-four percent of consumers believe it is acceptable to run any advertising on September 11th. Fifteen percent had no opinion on the subject.

[George Anderson – Moderator]

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