Is there ever a time where an advertising agency may suggest to an advertiser to go dark and not run a campaign? Depending who you talk to, the answer may be an emphatic “no” or a conditional “yes.”
In my opinion, it depends on the client. An argument could be made that non-retailer advertisers may steer clear of advertising during heavy retail holiday times like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Black Friday. These and other dates have national advertisers who have access to big budgets to have high frequency and high impact campaigns, which is great. However, for non-retail, local advertisers who have a smaller budget, your message may get lost in the shuffle.
Another situation in which an advertiser may lighten up a campaign is customer behavior. An example may be a retirement facility that doesn’t heavily advertise in May because families are focused on graduations and finishing up the school year. However, that same facility may heavy-up schedules in January when families realize that relatives may need to start looking for living alternatives.
Overall, advertising your product or service is a 24/7, year-round job. However, there are times where a schedule may be pulled back strategically in order to use a budget wisely. It really comes down to knowing your audience and understanding your advertising environment.