The UK advertising industry has joined the tributes to The Queen, who has died at the age of 96.
Broadcasters and other news outlets and media companies have spent years planning special editorial coverage and industry executives spent Thursday afternoon (8 September) re-arranging schedules and media plans, ahead of the formal announcement of her passing at 630pm.
Many media owners from ITV to MailMetroMedia to Ocean Outdoor said they have suspended some or all advertising temporarily.
Paul Bainsfair, director-general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertsing (IPA), said: “It is with a heavy heart that we hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She has been head of state and our Queen for all of our lifetime and she was revered across the world for her wisdom and her sense of duty. The greatest honour bestowed upon the IPA in its long history was when Her Majesty awarded our Royal Charter in 2015. We extend our sincerest condolences to the Royal Family as the nation enters a period of mourning.”
The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) said: “Everyone at ISBA is deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty the Queen. The thoughts of all of us are with the Royal Family at what will be a time of great sorrow.”
ITV said its main channel would carry special news programming and no ads during its coverage about the Queen’s death in the first 24 hours, Mail Metro Media told agencies it would not run any advertisements across all of its print and digital platforms for a minimum of 24 hours, and Ocean Outdoor dropped all ads on its digital screens, including the Piccadilly Lights, in favour of a tribute message to The Queen.
One brand was planning a significant campaign this weekend and had already sent out the media assets when it pulled the launch on Thursday.
One agency leader, who was involved in rearranging plans during Thursday, said: “We have been talking to our clients all day. It has a considerable effect on all of our clients – not just pulling their ads but also re-arranging their media placements for when things come back. When your brand starts to re-advertise, you want to make sure your ads are appropriate.”
A second agency executive said: “I have practically every advertiser wanting to be off-air for at least 24 hours. Some advertisers will be making a commercial decision [because they don’t think customers will buy their goods or services], some will be just protecting their brand [because they don’t want to risk a negative response].”
Industry executives do not expect a return of all advertising until after the funeral.