Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine is driving advertisers to take action. They are rapidly reassessing their creative and media spending. Brands are supporting their staff in the region and pledging to help Ukrainian citizens across the globe. From pausing ad placements to cease product sales, cut services, or halting business with Russia. Here’s a host of some big companies that began to trickle in recent days.
The first major company in the marketing and advertising field took a definitive stance that it will discontinue doing business in Russia. In addition to its 2,300 employees, the multinational consulting company has a global innovation lab in Moscow called ‘Future Camp’. The company thanked them and vowed to support the former employees. The company has promised to help its Ukrainian colleagues around the world and their families. It will give $5 million to organizations that provide assistance to Ukrainian citizens and those seeking asylum in neighboring countries.
McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group also declared today that they will no longer deal with Russian companies.
The streamer dropped a Russian-backed news channel from its channel store everywhere that including Europe and the U.S. The decision follows a similar move from DirecTV which is “accelerating this year’s contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately” amid the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.
Adtech firm, Extreme Reach has stopped distributing and delivering ads to Russian-affiliated internet and television sites. As per Adage reports, the company said, “As a global company, we are part of a global community that is weakened when any of its people are oppressed. More directly, we’re providing support to our team members who are themselves based in Ukraine or whose families and loved ones are in the midst of this unthinkable crisis.”
Microsoft has removed RT news’ mobile app from the Windows app store, in addition to banning all ads on Russian state-sponsored media. In a blog post, Microsoft said that they are focusing on four areas to help Ukraine. They are working on cybersecurity, state-sponsored discrimination campaigns, humanitarian aid, and employee protection.
The tech giant has paused all advertisements across products in Russia. This is relevant for ads on Search, YouTube, Display, and the move is effective immediately. It is an extraordinary step given how much of Google’s revenue is from advertising. Google blocked mobile apps connected to Russian state-run media outlets RT and Sputnik from the playstore.
Twitter also announced a similar move and said, “We’re temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.”
Apple and Facebook
The tech giant has ended the sale and exports of its products to Russia. In a statement, it said, “Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.”
Facebook’s parent company Meta has restricted access to Russian state media accounts and blocked the running and monetization of ads on their platform. It has also removed accounts that provided disinformation and targeted Ukrainians.
Spotify, the podcast service provider has shut its offices indefinitely in Russia. It has removed all Russian-state-affiliated content.
Norwegian energy company Equinor has had a presence in Russia for over 30 years and has decided to end the joint venture with Roseneft.
In a statement, the company said, “In the current situation, we regard our position as untenable. We will now stop new investments into our Russian business, and we will start the process of exiting our joint ventures in a manner that is consistent with our values. Our top priority in this difficult situation is the safety and security of our people.”
The company has suspended all operations in Belarus and Russia. It will offer free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine. It will also partner with resettlement agencies to house Ukrainian refugees globally.
Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) March 4, 2022
The software company suspended all operations in Russia. Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation requested on Twitter that the company ends its business relationship with Russia, Russian clients, and partners.
Publicis CEO and Chairman Arthur Sadoun sent an internal memo to the holding company’s 350 Ukraine employees ensuring guaranteed salary pay for 2022. In the memo he said, “While these financial measures can only help a small part of the turbulent reality you face today, we hope it will give you some sense of security, help provide for your loved ones and allow you to plan and take back control of your lives.”
BP and Shell
Both BP and Shell will exit Russian operations.
BP is one of the largest foreign investors in the oil market. The company exited a 20% stake in the Russian oil giant Roseneft- a move estimated to cost the company $25bn. On the other hand, Shell will exit its partnership with Russian oil company Gazprom.
The home furniture retailer has paused all its operations in Russia, and Belarus. In a statement, it said, “These decisions have a direct impact on 15,000 IKEA co-workers. The ambitions of the company groups are long term and we have secured employment and income stability for the immediate future and provide support to them and their families in the region.”
Fashion retailers like H&M, Marks & Spencers, Burberry, ASOS have halted Russian sales.
Disney, Warner, Sony, Paramount, Universal, and Netflix
Disney, Warner, Sony, Paramount, Universal has paused all their theatrical releases in Russia. Meanwhile, Netflix has stopped all the future projects in Russia.
Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin
The automakers halted all operations in Russia. Tata Group-owned JLR has halted car deliveries in Russia. Similarly, Aston Martin has halted stopped the exports and production of its cars in Ukraine and Russia.
Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, and Mazda have also joined the list of automakers who have stopped operations in Russia. According to Reuters, the Japanese company Toyota produces about 8,000 vehicles in Russia. Honda has suspended operations in Russia due to difficulties with payments and shipping vehicles. Mazda announced that its joint venture plant in Vladivostok would soon cease exports soon.
Visa and Mastercard
Two major card payment firms, Visa and Mastercard, have blocked numerous transactions with Russian banks. Reuters said Mastercard’s net revenues from Russia accounted for approximately 4 percent of its total revenues.
Nordea, HSBC, Mashreqbank and Raiffeisen Bank International
In a statement released by Reuters, Nordea Asset Management announced that they will liquidate all of their investments in Russian government bonds, equities, corporate bonds, and alternatives. has decided to liquidate all of its investments in Russia, including government bonds, equities, corporate debt, and alternatives. The British Bank HSBC has winded down its operations with a host of Russian banks Dubai-based Mashreqbank also halted its operations with Russian banks and Austria’s largest bank Raiffeisen Bank International is planning to exit the Russian Federation.
Germany-based Siemen’s work on new projects and deliveries are put on hold in Russia. Russia, where the company has been active since 1852, contributes just 1 percent of sales to the company. Siemens has also ceased operations on its 1.1 billion euro contract with Russian Railways to build high-speed trains.
MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM
Shipping giants including Switzerland-based MSC, Denmark’s Maersk, and France’s CMA CGM suspended non-essentials cargo bookings to and from Russia until further notice.
In compliance with the applicable sanctions against Moscow, the world’s largest aircraft leasing firm AerCap announced that it will cease leasing from Russian airlines. The company has 152 aircraft worth $2.5 billion in both Russia and Ukraine.
Compare the Market
Compare the Market, a UK financial comparison website, is withdrawing its long-running ad campaign featuring Russian-accented meerkats from news programs.
- Neha Mehta
- Neha started her journey as a financial professional but soon realized her passion for writing and is now living her dreams as a content writer. Her goal is to enlighten the audience on various topics through her writing and in-depth research. She is geeky and friendly. When not busy writing, she is spending time with her little one or travelling.
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