UK creative industry marks Queen’s funeral with ad blackout

Outdoor advertising sites featuring images and memorial messages to mark the Queen's reign provided the backdrop for blanket funeral coverage.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


The end of the second Elizabethan age brought with it a unified response from media owners who paused advertising to mark the Queen’s funeral. 

The queen’s funeral coverage, a bank holiday in the UK, marked a 24-hour advertising black out the day for ITV, Channel 4, Sky News and Channel 5. The move follows a swift response from media owners and the industry to shift broadcast schedules and advertising plans to report on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Meanwhile, newspapers paused advertising for commemorative issues and coverage. While radio stations followed suit, providing listeners with the reassurance of familiar voices covering the historic event.

Outdoor advertisers provided a digital backdrop to the procession’s coverage, with TV footage featuring billboards from the UK’s biggest outdoor companies.

The BFI IMAX, Waterloo, London turned purple from dusk in the evenings from Sunday 18th September to Tuesday 20th September. While Ocean Outdoor’s iconic Piccadilly Lights, Piccadilly Circus, London and all outdoor ad screens, paused advertising for commemorative spots to run until midnight on Monday, September 19th.

Advertising will return today (Tuesday 20th September) with media owners working with brands to reschedule and reboot campaigns. While many brands have chosen to put activity on pause for the duration of the national mourning period now, perhaps, might be the right time to keep calm and carry on.

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