Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in many brands taking action, either with messaging and financial support for the war-torn nation or by ceasing business with Russian entities. And consumers are paying attention.
A recent survey from Morning Consult found that 75% of Americans support brands cutting ties with Russia; just 8% said companies should maintain business ties but issue a statement condemning the war, the survey found. This week, more than 100 companies have responded to the war through humanitarian efforts or extending sanctions against Russia; in recent days, companies including Airbnb, Accenture, WPP and Ikea have suspended operations in Russia. Google just halted all advertising there. Other actions include Etsy’s forgiving of all fees for Ukrainian-based sellers and the exclusion of pro-Vladimir Putin Russian hockey stars from global marketing for Canadian hockey brand CCM.
“There is a tremendous amount of hunger from brands and organizations for guidance to make sure they are doing the right thing through their words and actions,” said Michelle Giuda, executive VP of geopolitical strategy and risk at PR agency Weber Shandwick, who has spent the week providing counsel to clients about how best to respond to the war. “We are seeing a lot of acknowledgment of the pressure here to do something and to make sure they are doing it correctly and authentically.”