Marketing Report
[Marketing Week] Bob Koigi: Brands, agencies react to Russia-Ukraine conflict

[Marketing Week] Bob Koigi: Brands, agencies react to Russia-Ukraine conflict

As the protracted conflict pitting Russia against Ukraine escalates, brands, marketers, communicators and advertisers are demonstrating different reactions from withdrawal of services, cancellation of operations to running campaigns in solidarity with the Ukrainian people while calling for an end to the war.

WPP has stated that it is standing with Ukraine and the international community in condemning the Russian invasion, which has created a humanitarian crisis in the heart of Europe.

The Board of WPP has concluded that WPP’s ongoing presence in Russia would be inconsistent with our values as a company, and we are therefore discontinuing our operations in the country.

The  World  Federation of Advertisers has expressed its horror at the needless human suffering caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine adding that the thoughts of the entire organisation and its membership were with the victims.

The association further said that most of its members have businesses in both countries and are rightly prioritising the safety and wellbeing of their people while Publicis Groupe has announced that it is stopping its business and investments in Russia by ceding the ownership of its agencies to local management, effective immediately.  

Publicis Groupe is handing over control of its Russian operations to Sergey Koptev, Founding Chairman of Publicis in Russia, with the clear contractual condition of ensuring a future for employees there. 

Flemish broadcasters have announced a new campaign to support Ukraine and its people. Not a day goes by without Flemish people seeing and hearing heartbreaking stories about how the Ukrainian population has been badly affected by the war in their country. Many people have been deeply touched by this; many also want to help. Last week, VRT, DPG Media, SBS and Mediahuis all put their shoulders to the wheel for the widely distributed spot campaign for Consortium 12-12. Now the broadcasters want to strengthen the strong living solidarity even more.

Through the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), a non-profit investment fund based in New York and Pluralis, Mediahuis has announced that it will provide financial support for the benefit of five independent Ukrainian news media that have continued to operate and report in these difficult circumstances.

These news media are Liga, Melitopolske Vedomosti, Grivna, Molodoy Bukovinetz and the biggest Ukrainian newspaper Express. With this fundingMediahuis says it will address their most urgent needs such as the purchase of newsprint, overcoming logistical delivery challenges in the war zone and even providing bulletproof vests as it continues to monitor the situation on the ground and, through the MDIF, keep in touch with the respective editors to see what other ways they can be supported.

The Carlsberg Foundation and the Tuborg Foundation have contributed DKK 50 million with Carlsberg Group contributing DKK 25 million.

The DKK 75 million will be donated, amongst others, through the Danish branches of recognised international aid organisations with the purpose to support the massive relief efforts currently underway. The funds will be used for general humanitarian relief efforts and by partnering with local organisations to support all Ukrainian people in need.

In the marketing scene, Equifax and Team Velocity Marketing, a Data Driven Holdings company (DDH), have partnered to deliver an innovative new subscription marketing service for automotive dealers through Team Velocity's recently launched Qualified Customer offering.

Visa has announced that Frank Cooper III will join the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in May 2022. Mr. Cooper will also serve as a member of the company’s Executive Committee and report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Al Kelly.

On sustainability Global carmaker Ford is gunning for a larger electric vehicle (EV) market share. That has come out in a recent data presentation. The firm intends to make 50% of its annual vehicle sales electric by 2030.

Accordingly, the firm is ramping up investments in its EV production unit. In 2022 alone, Ford will pump up to $5 billion in the said unit. That figure is about twice the amount it invested in EV production in 2021. In the short term, Ford is targeting the production of over 2M EVs by 2026.

Sony Group Corporation and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have announced that they have agreed to deepen discussion and exploration of forming a strategic alliance that aims to create a new era of mobility and mobility services.

Specifically, the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines their intent to establish a joint venture, new company, through which they plan to engage in the joint development and sales of high value-added battery electric vehicles (EVs) and commercialize them in conjunction with providing mobility services.

And finally two more German Henkel sites have achieved significant milestones in the area of sustainability: The Laundry & Home Care production in Düsseldorf and the Beauty Care production site in Wassertrüdingen, Bavaria, have been converted to operate with 100 percent CO2-neutral energy. Henkel aims to make its entire production worldwide climate-positive by 2030.

Bob Koigi is an editor at Marketing Report EU