The media - and by extension ad agencies - are set to lose billions of dollars in revenues as soon as the shooting starts in Iraq, according to straw polls on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stateside, MasterCard International will suspend all media advertising, while Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Visa plan to cancel most TV slots. Anheuser-Busch will “continue to run advertising, but it will be appropriate for the environment”.

General Motors, America’s highest spending advertiser, will pull ads from network TV shows, but run ads on cable and in local TV markets; while Chrysler will redeploy its ads to sports and comedy programs, assuming viewers will seek lighter fare when not watching war coverage.

In the UK, according to major newspaper group the Daily Mail & General Trust, advertisers are beginning to batten down the htaches as the onslaught on Iraq – opposed by the majority of the British public – starts the countdown.

Advertising revenues at DMGT’s flagship unit Associated Newspapers (Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and London Evening Standard) slowed over the first two months of the year after showing positive signs at the end of last year, the group said.

Data sourced from: USA Today and; additional content by WARC staff