APPLEBEE’S was trending online for all the wrong reasons after an ad aired on CNN immediately after a news segment that featured the sounds of sirens in Ukraine.
Footage of the capital city Kyiv was shown on the network with sirens in the background during the Russian invasion before it cut to an Applebee’s commercial, sparking criticism online.
Kyiv was hit with missile strikes, according to Ukrainian authorities[/caption]
The outrage came after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” Ukraine.
After this announcement, missile strikes were reported by Ukrainian authorities as Russian forces were seen moving into territories in Kyiv.
Many people took to social media, sharing a clip of the ad to blast the network for its bad timing.
“It’s so f**king awkward that CNN will cut from an interview with a Ukrainian family that has had their home bombed and lost everything to a commercial with upbeat music for f**king Applebees so quickly,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Russia invades Ukraine brought to you by Applebees!” wrote another.
Scott Whitlock, research director for the Media Research Center wrote that CNN’s “blending of commercials and all hell breaking out in Europe isn’t working.”
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In response to the backlash, an Applebee’s spokesperson said: “When we were made aware that our ad was placed in this manner, we immediately reached out to CNN to pause our advertising on their network.
“It should have never aired, and we are disappointed in the actions of the network.” The spokesperson added that the brand is “deeply concerned” about the crisis in Ukraine.
According to a CNN spokesperson, picture-in-picture “advertisements have been removed from the coverage.”
President Joe Biden, along with the US’s European allies, announced more sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion, isolating the country from the global economy.
“This is a dangerous moment for all of Europe,” said Biden adding that the invasion represented “a sinister vision for the rest of the world.”
Biden had previously spoken with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, warning for weeks about a possible invasion.
“This was never about genuine security concerns on [Russia’s] part. It was always about naked aggression,” said Biden.
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