Sponsors Pull Ads After Disaster

LOS ANGELES Major advertisers have moved quickly to pull TV ads that could be considered insensitive following the deadly tsunami tragedy in Southern Asia

American Express has stopped running a spot from WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather in New York. That commercial features champion surfer Laird Hamilton riding a giant wave.

Dell, running a series of service-and-support spots created by Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago, has yanked an execution in which a customer asks if the computer company’s 24-hour telephone service can assist him during a tsunami.

A Dell representative said the client was working with its agency to get the ad in question out of rotation “as soon as we heard the news.”

Pulling spots has become automatic in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks, as marketers strive to avoid being viewed as insensitive or offensive.