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Creative industries pause for national mourning

From digital advertising sites switching to commemorative messaging to radio, TV and newspapers blanket coverage, the industry has marked the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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The UK creative industries have marked the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; with digital billboards, radio stations, newspapers and TV channels switching their coverage to commemorate her life. 

The iconic London Piccadilly Circus spot features a poignant image of The Queen to mark this historic moment. Ocean Outdoor, alongside all major UK outdoor operators, replaced advertising with a commemorative message. All advertising will also be paused on the day of the Queen’s funeral (19th September) where commemorative messages will run for 24-hours.

With radio stations switching up their playlists and encouraging listeners to share their memories of the Queen and broadcasters and newspapers alike opting for blanket coverage, the media industry is collectively creating space for readers and listeners who choose to mourn in their own way.

Tributes also poured in from across the industry. Paul Bainsfair, Director General at the IPA said: "It is with a heavy heart that we hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She has been Head of State and our Queen for all of our lifetime and she was revered across the World for her wisdom and her sense of duty. The greatest honour bestowed upon the IPA in its long history was when Her Majesty awarded our Royal Charter in 2015. We extend our sincerest condolences to the Royal Family as the nation enters a period of mourning."

Some major brands have pressed pause on their marketing campaigns for the duration of the national mourning period. While a number of agencies have chosen to pause their marketing and outreach campaigns. However, the government has released guidance saying there is no need for businesses to close or sporting events to be cancelled during this period. 

It is with a heavy heart that we hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She has been Head of State and our Queen for all of our lifetime and she was revered across the World for her wisdom and her sense of duty.

Paul Bainsfair, Director General of the IPA

This weekend the Football Association moved to postpone all matches, while the Rugby Football Union urged a ‘respectful continuation’ of matches. Considerations such as police resources and sponsor sensitivities are also in play when it comes to events. 

Brands, sporting bodies and agencies alike are walking a tightrope of the need to grow the economy in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, while at the same time mitigating any potential negative backlash for appearing insensitive to the national mood.  A challenge which for many marketers underlines that well-worn belief that when you have nothing meaningful to say or support in a time of mourning: silence is golden.

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