4As, ANA Suggest Plans for Ads During War

WASHINGTON Two advertising trade associations advise members to have contingency plans allowing agencies to pull ads if there is extensive war coverage.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies sent a letter to members March 13 advising agencies to include clauses in media contracts to “guarantee safe adjacencies away from violent or otherwise disturbing wartime imagery,” president and CEO Burtch Drake wrote. Drake also advised agencies to develop “alternate creative executions that could be deemed more suitable when placed in the midst of war coverage.”

The Association of National Advertisers polled members earlier in the year about what the best approach to dealing with a war would be. Some members said that unlike after September 11, when the media market was soft, they would consider asking media outlets for their money back should continuous war coverage prempt advertising. “Some ANA members indicated that this year the upfront market was so tight that unlike 2001, should a war ensue, they might take dollars back from the media,” wrote ANA svp Barbara Bacci Mirque in a letter to members. “In 2001 they did not want to take advantage of the situation but now, with limited scatter inventory available, the networks appear willing to give back.”