Applebee’s apologizes after CNN aired its ad during war coverage

Yesterday we reported about Joe Rogan having a laugh on CNN’s account after they aired a tasteless commercial over footage of war torn Kiev.

Rogan’s grudge toward CNN  dates back to when the commentator found himself in CNN’s crosshairs earlier this year when he revealed how he opted to treat himself when he got sick with Covid-19. CNN opted to put a particular spin on the matter and earned themselves a place on his bad side. In spite of the conflict Rogan invited Sanjay Gupta on his podcast and had interesting conversations with the CNN correspondent. Sadly, as levelheaded as Gupta was, many of his colleagues disagreed.

Rogan recently posted the following clip on his profile on instagram. Rogan called out CNN’s coverage of war torn Kyiev – coupled with a commercial. The post was captioned “WE LIVE IN A COEN BROTHERS MOVIE”.



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While many of the 14.7 Million followers Rogan has on the platform found it hilarious – Applebee’s did not.

The PR storm aimed at both Applebee’s and CNN caused quite an upheaval. CNN’s coverage of war torn Ukraine could’ve done without the network split screening Applebee’s commercial as it said: “Russia invades Ukraine” on screen.

Rogan wasn’t the only notable voice to criticize the absurdity.


Naturally Applebee’s was asked to respond. They issued the following statement:
“We are 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. It never should have aired, and we are disappointed in the actions of the network”.

In a follow up Swant clarified:

I’ve also asked for clarity around the terms of the ad deal since TV media buys like this are often part of a much larger package and planned way in advance, so very likely Applebee’s had no idea the ad would air when it did.