Interpublic Group of Cos. has suspended its operations in Russia following the continuing invasion of Ukraine.
IPG’s decision follows those of WPP and Accenture, which closed their operations in the country earlier this month. A week later Stagwell also announced it will pause operations for its 10-person office in Russia.
In a Linkedin letter, IPG CEO Phillippe Krakowsky wrote to his staff explaining the decision. He admitted in the letter that the company has been “wrestling” with the idea of possibly “abandoning” the 200 colleagues IPG has in the country.
“When the invasion began, we immediately applied all international sanctions and informed clients in Russia who are prohibited parties that we would no longer continue working with them,” Krakowsky wrote. “Because we have never owned a media business in Russia, we did not have significant concerns that our media buying was either fueling the local economy or funding media being used by the state.”
In the letter, Krakowsky said that the holding company was initially holding off for a potential ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia.
“Essentially, we hoped that by supporting our colleagues in Russia we could live up to the part of our DNA that values and seeks to protect our people across IPG, yet also live up to the international sanctions against the Russian regime,” Krakowsky said. “Had initial ceasefire talks been productive, we could have perhaps managed to do both. But recent and escalating attacks on civilian targets, including hospitals, make it regrettably clear that the trajectory of the conflict is escalating, and the war could well go on for some time.”