Macy's Pressure Cooker Ad Problem

Whenever a major disaster strikes, sensitivities always get raw. Movie openings get delayed, TV show promotions get shelved and late-night comedians pull any jokes that might inadvertently seem to be mocking—or worse, taking advantage of—the tragedy. When last week's Boston bombing terrorist assault dominated the headlines, a regrettable ad from Macy's showcased pressure cookers, an ad that happened to appear next to the coverage of the terrorists using pressure cookers to kill and maim. Should retailers pull ads for such items when disasters hit? Not stop selling them, but pull ads? As a practical matter, that often may not be possible. Such ads are often locked in days and weeks before publication. It would often be the publications' internal publishing mechanisms that might prevent a quick ad switch. It's therefore hard to blame a company like Macy's in this kind of situation, but some shoppers will do so anyway. Story

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