COVID-19 is forcing us, once again, to ask the question: In times of crisis, where is that line between doing what you have to do to keep your business going, social responsibility, and opportunism? As happened with 9/11, the advertising industry is going through a process not dissimilar to the grieving process. When we first heard about COVID-19, the conversations I had in the industry ranged from outright dismissal to feigned interest to serious concern. There was also skepticism: “Of course, they’ll never cancel the Olympics” and “There will be Upfronts, but just virtual...but they’ll still happen in April/May.” Clearly, this is not the case. For our generation, not having gone through an event of this global scope, it’s quite understandable that denial was the first response we had. No one in our generation is likely to make that mistake again.
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