Broadcasters, newspaper publishers, radio stations and social media platforms including Snapchat have instituted an unprecedented advertising ban in response to the Queen’s death.
ITV, Channel 4 and Sky do not air adverts on their main channels until at least 5am on Saturday, under a memorandum of understanding with Buckingham Palace; however, their digital channels such as ITV2, 3 and 4 will continue to do so.
Commercial broadcasters and industry bodies will meet on Friday afternoon to decide whether the blackout should be extended through the weekend, with some advertisers told they could face penalties if they wish to continue the commercial break beyond the officially agreed deadline of Saturday morning.
Twitter has told media agencies, which buy ads on behalf of clients, that it will not run ads in the UK for 48 hours. Snapchat UK has a 24-hour ban on ads around all news and public service content.
Various advertising breaks were introduced by News UK, publisher of The Times and The Sun, Reach, owner of the national Mirror and Daily Express newspapers, as well as over 100 regional titles including the Manchester Evening News, and publishers of the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.
Mail Metro Media – the advertising arm of the Daily Mail, MailOnline, the Mail on Sunday, Metro, Metro.co.uk, i and inews.co.uk – has extended the blackout to include print adverts. There will be no ads in the first half of its print titles until Tuesday, except for Metro, which will run ads starting Monday.
“In light of the recent announcement and as a sign of respect, Mail Metro Media will not run any commercial advertisements on our print and digital platforms for at least 24 hours, unless they are advertisements in tribute to His Majesty the Queen,” it said.
Reach has pulled all print ads from the main sections of its titles and on digital homepages and around Queen-related content with a reintroduction timeline still under discussion.
The Telegraph has removed the adverts from its print editions and its website homepage and intends to review when to reintroduce the advert at a meeting on Monday.
Clear Channel UK and JCDecaux – the two largest owners of outdoor media sites, from billboards and posters to advertisements in stations, airports and London’s underground network – have suspended all advertising on digital screens and replaced them with tributes to the Queen.
“As an industry, we have felt it important to use our public screens appropriately and thoughtfully during a time like this,” a Clear Channel UK spokesperson said.
Bauer, the media giant that owns magazines and radio brands like Kiss, Magic and Jazz FM, suspended all advertising, sponsorships and promotions.
Magazine publisher Hearst, owner of titles including Elle, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, and Condé Nast, publisher of Glamour, Vogue, Tatler, Vanity Fair and GQ, pulled all advertising digital at least during the weekend.
Banning ads will cost media owners millions of pounds in revenue. However, newspapers will benefit from a huge increase in revenue from the sale of print copies, as the public will buy commemorative issues marking the Queen’s death.
Many newsagents and supermarkets quickly sold out of newspapers on Friday mornings. “We see that the demand far exceeds the supply,” said an executive at a major newspaper publisher.
Media owners, including Google and Facebook, have been contacted for comment.
“We know the advertising industry will be sensitive to the mood of the nation during this time of mourning,” said Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association.