September 2, 2003

Where the dollars aren’t…

Will the media show restraint on 9-11-03? There’s nothing like a little advertiser squeamishness to ensure the proper respect:

Virtually every media company–including the major television networks, and the leading publishers of newspapers, weekly magazines and books–is planning to commemorate the terrorist attacks in some fashion, but usually with more limited and understated offerings than they put forth last year. The reasons they cite are primarily emotional–the sense that many people would prefer not to spend much time in reflection this year.

But there are also commercial considerations. Last year, for example, few advertisers were willing to have their brands associated with the issues of the weekly newsmagazines devoted exclusively to the first anniversary, even though those issues were among the biggest sellers of the year for Time, which is owned by AOL Time Warner Inc. and Newsweek, a unit of the Washington Post Company. “It is certainly true advertisers are not rushing to be part of stories about terrorism,” said Jim Kelly, the managing editor of Time.

Note that this article runs in the business section.

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