Advertising during a 9/11 documentary?

Sunday I found myself watching the National Geographic Channel documentary Inside 9/11: Zero Hour. I highly recommend it to anyone who, like me, suddenly feels the need to revisit that day and its horrors in high def, no less. About 20 or so minutes in  — so shortly after the first planes are hijacked in the narrative — there’s a commercial break. First one is for Kia. Next is a baldness treatment and after that I was really too appalled to keep track. It wasn’t until the 2nd or 3rd break that there was one ad which was pitching for some 9/11-related charity.

I guess these were here just in case the show itself wasn’t upsetting enough.

This one I blame on the TV channel and not on the advertisers. The advertisers just signed a contract for X number of commercials with Y level of viewers. It was NGC that decided to go business-as-usual for the documentary. I would love to know if they even told the agencies what shows would be on when the ads ran.

They could have negotiated a deal with some company to sponsor the show without interruption or done something — anything — else. Or maybe they wanted to increase sales of the DVD. Or they just really want everyone to know that baldness treatments are by-and-large a superficial waste of money. I wish.

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