Queen Elizabeth II: UK advertising shuts down for state funeral


Advertising across the UK will be paused today as the nation comes together to pay its respects for Queen Elizabeth II.

The state funeral – which has been declared an official bank holiday – is taking place on Monday 19 September. The service, held at Westminster Abbey, will begin at 11am with a final committal taking place in Windsor at 4pm.

Shops, businesses, schools and other services will be closed for the day as the country comes together to commemorate the life of the late Queen, while UK media will go almost entirely advertising-free.

The Queen’s death – which was announced on the afternoon of Thursday 8 September 2022 – saw media owners and broadcasters respond quickly; changing schedules and pulling advertising in order to introduce rolling coverage dedicated to news updates and commemorative programmes.

Today’s state funeral will see those same platforms dedicating their airtime to coverage of the event and pausing all advertising campaigns.

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A block on adverts around the funeral coverage will mean that many commercial channels are taking a financial hit, from television broadcasters and radio stations to social media platforms and outdoor advertising giants such as JCDecaux and Clear Channel.

This blackout – which was implemented almost across the board as part of a protocol agreement with Buckingham Palace – is being implemented again today for the funeral.

No ITV station or streaming service will run any advertising during the entire day, despite the funeral service only being shown on ITV’s main channel. Channel 4 has also placed a 24-hour ad blackout across all of its channels, as has Sky News and Channel 5.

Much of the UK’s OOH advertising network has already been used to pay tribute to the queen – including London’s iconic Piccadilly Circus screen (pictured). Industry body Outsmart is urging DOOH media owners to stop commercial advertising for the day.

During the official mourning period, brands, advertisers and media owners have been extra vigilant about running any potentially “insensitive or inappropriate” material, such as adverts for funeral services.

All advertising which has been cancelled or paused will begin again on Tuesday 20 September, with affected brands able to reschedule placements.

Marketing and advertising businesses recently paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died peacefully at Balmoral on the afternoon of Thursday 8 September 2022, aged 96.


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