With Travel on Hold, United Airlines Donates Media Space to Unicef

Its planned spring campaign was shelved in light of the coronavirus

paddington bear
Paddington has been a longtime brand partner of Unicef.
Unicef

As companies struggle with how to change their messaging or opt to cancel media buys outright during the coronavirus crisis, some are donating their planned ads to help organizations involved in relief efforts.

United Airlines—which has had to cut domestic capacity by 52% since the crisis began—is donating the media space purchased for its spring campaign to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

The airline said in a statement that while reviewing United’s planned seasonal advertising—the original campaign had been set to launch March 15—it decided not to go with its original messaging.

Instead of canceling the media buy, however, the airline, alongside its agency partners Carat and Mcgarrybowen, decided to make the donation. The out-of-home ads are worth about $100,000, according to the airline, and will be seen in London.

The ad shared with Adweek features British children’s icon Paddington Bear, a longtime partner of Unicef.

The airline industry is in line to receive a bailout of more than $50 billion in loans and grants from the federal government to stem revenue losses and avoid layoffs.

Recommended articles