Local News

Patriotism or Promotion? Theme of Ads Questioned

Posted December 21, 2001 10:15 a.m. EST

— Many companies have been using patriotism and the events of Sept. 11 to sell their products. The question is where do they draw the line?

A billboard along Interstate 40 seems to link home security with national security.

CPI Security Systems says its ad, which has the words "Thwart Evil" over an American flag, merely reflects the company's support of the country and the military.

Karen Albritton, a Raleigh public relations executive, said that companies need to be careful with this type of advertising.

"Consumers will see through that very quickly. They'll become cynical and there's a risk of backlash," she said.

CPI's Carlos Lopez said that the company's business has increased 23 percent since Oct., but the intent was not to capitalize on the tragedies of Sept. 11.

Albritton said that companies which used these types of advertising campaigns right after Sept. 11 are starting to scale back the connection between their product and the national events.