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For marketing community, stigma of 9/11 eases

August 22, 2011

Major broadcast and cable-news networks temporarily stopped airing commercials after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the day has continued to carry a stigma for the marketing community. But with the 10th anniversary of the attacks now just weeks away, a sense has begun to emerge that advertising and 9/11 memorials or discussions can co-exist, reports.

Since July, AT&T has been sponsoring a weekly segment on Fox News Channel about construction of the new World Trade Center site. In the days leading up to Sept. 11 this year, Chevrolet reportedly will present a Discovery Channel series about the rebuilding of Ground Zero. National Geographic Channel will air documentaries and programs before the anniversary, and a seven-program marathon on Sept. 11, 2011 — all supported by advertising. CNN will air specials about the event and its anniversary, all sponsored by advertising except for the debut broadcast of a program that will have commercials when shown in reruns. NBC and MSNBC plan three hours of coverage, likely containing ads, the morning of Sept. 11.

“There is a different tone than in years past,” said Harry Keeshan, executive vice president at Omnicom Group’s PHD media network. There is now more sentiment to pay tribute to the anniversary than there is to avoid it, he said. — Greg Beaubien


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