(PresidentialHill.com)- With the invasion of Ukraine, CNN decided not to break away for commercials during its war coverage but instead use something called “squeezeback” advertisements.
“Squeezeback” ads reduce the size of commercials allowing them to run on a split-screen as live news coverage continues. It’s been used for years as a way to keep audiences from changing channels during commercial breaks.
But for CNN, running “squeezeback” ads during its coverage of Ukraine backfired just a wee bit earlier this week.
Anchor Bianna Golodryga had just wrapped up a segment on the heartbreaking story of Ukrainian cities under fire. She was describing civilians, including families with young children, packing into subway stations to find shelter from the bombardments. And as she described the air raid sirens “ringing out this morning,” half the screen showed the heartbreaking scene in Kyiv while the other half showed a squeezeback ad from Applebee’s featuring country music, chicken, and beer.
Really, CNN? There's this thing called tone and tact. Look it up. Because your blending of commercials and all hell breaking out in Europe isn't working. pic.twitter.com/yhnag26JQ5
— Scott Whitlock (@ScottJW) February 24, 2022
Yeah, that’s not a good look.
Clips from that embarrassing juxtaposition instantly went viral on Twitter.
But that wasn’t the only one. CNN’s coverage was also interrupted by an ad for Sandals Resorts that was set to Bob Marley’s song “Three Little Birds.” Some of the lyrics: “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, cuz every little thing gonna be all right.”
Unsurprisingly, WarnerMedia, which owns CNN, announced this week that the use of “squeezeback” advertising has now been discontinued from CNN’s ongoing coverage of the war in Ukraine.