War: Not So Good For PR & US Brands, But TV Ads OK

"Following a disastrous 2002 for the public relations industry, the war in Iraq now threatens to blight 2003," Advertising Age writes. "The most immediate problem for PR agencies is the shrinking news hole -- a vital element of campaigns -- now that it appears the war will go on for longer than some expected." Bad news for PR, but advertisers need not worry. "A majority of U.S. consumers say they favor a TV network return to regularly scheduled commercial programming during the ongoing war in Iraq, according to an exclusive Advertising Age survey. In a poll ... 83% of consumers said it is appropriate for the networks to run prime-time entertainment during the first weeks of the war," Ad Age writes. Meanwhile marketers of the largest U.S. brands "are going on the offensive to combat war-related boycotts of American products in hot spots around the globe. In markets from Egypt and Argentina to Europe, U.S. companies are plotting strategy, usually focusing on how to emphasize their ties to local communities and economies," Ad Age writes. Representatives from Procter & Gamble, Heinz, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Xerox and McDonald's met recently with U.S. Embassy officials in Cairo to discuss the boycotts.