Mar 21, 2022
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Consumers are ready to boycott brands over their stance on Ukraine

Mar 21, 2022

Would you be willing to give up your favorite brand if you learned that it is maintaining its operations in Russia, given the current geopolitical context? According to a survey by GlobalData, 41% of consumers would not hesitate.

From the environment to animal welfare to the origin and composition of products, consumers are increasingly attentive to the practices and values of companies and brands. And, according to a survey conducted by British data analysis firm GlobalData, the war in Ukraine could be added to the list of consumer demands and expectations. Indeed, 41% of "global consumers"  say they are ready to boycott a brand if it does not take "a firm stance" on Ukraine. 

In the first weeks following the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's armed forces, some brands quickly decided to withdraw from the Russian market. This is notably the case of Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Adidas and Ikea. Others have frozen their investments, without halting their production, like Danone.

If these actions are mainly aimed at escaping the economic consequences of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union, it is also a question of image for these companies. Aware that consumers are attentive to this particular point, they are sending a clear message of support to the Ukrainian people through these announcements.

As an example, the LVMH group withdrew its products from the Russian market after the country declared war on Ukraine. The Russian market accounted for 6.6% of the firm's cosmetics and toiletries sales in 2020, equivalent to more than $300 million, according to GlobalData estimates.

"This is a drastic but necessary move when considering not only the evolving complications of doing business in the market, but also the potential backlash from consumers around the globe if this decision was not made," said Lia Neophytou, senior health and beauty analyst at GlobalData. 

But this does not prevent some brands from "causewashing." For example, McDonald's and KFC have both announced the closure of their restaurants in Russia... except for outlets operating as franchises, which remain open.

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