CNN AND MSNBC: Chaos and Death in Ukraine Brought to You By Applebee’s!

February 24th, 2022 12:05 PM

UPDATE: CNN has removed the ads. See full update below.

As Europe descends into war, chaos and death, CNN and MSNBC thought the appropriate, reserved way to handle the situation would be to blend live coverage with beer and chicken commercials. It went about as badly as you might imagine. 

Anchor Bianna Golodryga on Thursday related heartbreaking details: “It should be packed with commuters but subway stations in Ukrainian cities under fire and turned into makeshift bomb shelters. Families having to protect their little children.” Going to commercial break, she added, “Air raid sirens are ringing out this morning.” Then, with half the screen showing the spiraling situation in Kyiv, Ukraine, the other half featured country music, beer, chicken and Applebee’s. 

Take a look: 



Shortly after that, MSNBC did the same thing: 



Hey, CNN and MSNBC: Perhaps split screens of the violence and heartache in Ukraine don’t fit well with a happy visit to Applebee’s? 

UPDATE: After considerable blowback, CNN has removed what is known as “squuezback” ads. Here's TV Newser on the removal: 

Those spots will no longer be running, a WarnerMedia spokeperson told Adweek/TVNewser: “Squeezeback advertisements have been removed from the coverage.”

“Squeezeback” ads, which reduce the size of advertisement to allow content to run around it, have been used for years, as a way to keep audiences from changing the channel to view other coverage during ad breaks. But as today proved, they can also backfire under certain circumstances.