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Marketers decided to pull over $100 million worth of commercials from network, cable, local and syndicated TV outlets on the United States market in the first 48 hours of the 2003 Iraq war. Given this loss to advertisers and media, we looked at how consumers respond to commercials during wartime. Would they change their attitude towards products that are advertised during war coverage? Would they consider advertising during such coverage inappropriate? Consistent with previous mood theory study findings, the results suggest a positive relationship between the mood generated by the interest in the program content and support for advertisements during the program. We also found that factors influencing the mood induced by war coverage were support for the President’s decisions and for the war. These findings open the door to a completely new line of research on attitudes towards media contents. Future research could explore the relationship between political ideology of viewers and their mood when watching sensitive news content.


Published: Micu, Anca, Thorson, Esther, Antecol, M. "In the Mood for a Commercial Break? A Model of Consumer Response to Television Commercials During Sensitive News." Management and Marketing 4.3 (2009): 35-52.



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