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Applebee's Is Being Criticized For This 'Insensitive' TV Ad

Over 20,000 people on Twitter were shocked.

An Applebee's commercial that ran during CNN's coverage of the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine has people criticizing the brand.

The cable news network was covering Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday–and an Applebee's ad made an appearance during a split-screen of the invasion, blasting Zac Brown Band's upbeat "Chicken Fried" single played over footage of fried chicken and beer. A cowboy also danced across the screen.

Many people took to Twitter to share their dismay at the poorly-timed ad amid the crisis in Ukraine. This led Applebee's to trend on Twitter Thursday afternoon with almost 20,000 tweets about the situation. 

"This is just brutal timing," one Twitter user said. "World War 3 sponsored by Applebees," another said

An Applebee's spokesperson told MarketWatch over email that this ad never should have aired in the way that it did. 

"We are deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine," the company rep wrote in a statement. "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."

Many conservative CNN critics called out the news outlet for lacking in "tone and tact" with its "insensitive" marketing tactic. 

For more restaurant news, check out 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.

Kristen Warfield
Kristen Warfield is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz’s journalism program in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Read more about Kristen
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