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During a broadcast on Thursday, CNN cut from somber live footage of air raid sirens sounding over Kyiv to… an Applebee’s ad.
A peppy, inset Applebee’s ad, surrounded by wartime headlines.
It’s so jarring. You really have to watch the video, which went viral on Twitter (~40K RTs!) for the full effect.
The fallout for CNN and Applebee’s
CNN paused picture-in-picture ads after the incident.
Applebee’s paused their CNN ads when they saw the clip, too, blaming the network in a statement: “It never should have aired, and we are disappointed in the actions of the network.”
Wait — is this all CNN’s fault?
Brands should know what creative is running where on any given day, and it’s best practice to pause ads — at least celebratory ones running on news channels! — in times of crisis.
Automated ad placements can go sour fast.