According to Marketing Dive, "Consumers want brands to take concrete measures addressing Russia's invasion of Ukraine... A survey Gartner conducted found that most U.S. respondents were concerned about the Ukraine crisis, with eight in 10 naming at least one step they would like to see marketers take. At the top of the list was reconsidering doing business in Russia or with Russian partners, cited by 60%."
Still, the war presents something of a dilemma for brand advertisers. Kate Muhl, vice president analyst at Gartner's marketing practice, tells Marketing Dive, "The messages [consumers] are looking for are: Support for people in Ukraine, peace, and to some degree, resources. But [talking about] what you specifically are doing, it's just too soon."
While some larger brand marketers are being cautious, others have demonstrated through their actions that they perceive consumers want them to side with Ukraine. There has been a significant number of major American brands, including American Express, Apple, Disney, Ford, Ikea, MasterCard, Netflix and VISA, that are pulling back from the Russian consumer market. Other actions, such as oil companies that are abandoning deals with Russia and sports organizations that are banning Russian athletes, are also notable. Every brand marketer needs to look at the situation and evaluate whether to take a stand and how it may affect brand perception -- or if it is more prudent to remain neutral.
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