A narrow majority (51%) of US adults would prefer not to see ads on September 11, reports an exclusive survey for Advertising Age.
In the online study carried out by WPP’s Lightspeed Research, a further 34% of the 307 respondents declared it acceptable to run ads on the first anniversary of the tragedy, while 15% had no opinion.
Despite the disapproving majority, 64% of the sample said their opinion would remain unchanged of a company that did advertise on the anniversary; and of those who said their view would change, an overwhelming majority declared it would be a change for the worse.
Emphasizing the contradictory emotions of Americans, 50% of survey respondents said they are more likely to support ads on TV programs that commemorate the date, while 44% thought it inappropriate. Six percent abstained from expressing an opinion.
Few would doubt the survey reflects the nation’s feelings although a sample of just 367 does seem a bit small (especially if self-selecting) to be statistically valid for a nation with a population of nearly 288 million.
The Ad Council’s president/ceo Peggy Conlon revealed she had been approached by network representatives about using public service announcements that day. “Everyone is searching for messages that are not commercials,” she said.