Applebee’s Suspends Advertising on CNN After Side-by-Side Spot With Invasion Coverage

"It never should have aired, and we are disappointed in the actions of the network," the restaurant chain said in a statement

Amid Thursday morning coverage of the air attacks in Ukraine by Russia, CNN aired an Applebee’s ad — side-by-side with the headline “Russia Invades Ukraine” – and reactions were not favorable.

In response, Applebee’s suspended its ads on the network, telling Forbes.com it was “deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine.”

“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,” Applebee’s said in the statement. “It never should have aired, and we are disappointed in the actions of the network.”

CNN did not respond to TheWrap’s requests for comments.

Social media criticism of the production gaffe was widespread as invasion developments continued.

American sports commentator Keith Olberman retweeted a video with the words “Death from the skies…sponsored by @applebees.”

Editor Curtis Houck said something along similar lines.

Research director Scott Whitlock tweeted in reaction to the televised mixup, “Really CNN? There’s this thing called tone and tact. Look it up. Because your blending of commercials and all hell breaking out in Europe is not working.”

More reactions call attention to just how opposite the two components of the TV program are, some noting the irony, some the typical pattern of it all, and others sprinkling some humor here and there: