Marketing During Wartime: A Chance To Take Sides

Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine has prompted some brands to take action. In the tech arena, Google has temporarily disabled Google Maps in Ukraine to protect users’ security in the region, according to Reuters.

In addition, Apple has paused all product sales and stopped exports to the Russian sales channel. And, like Google, Apple has disabled live traffic and incident reporting in Ukraine, in collaboration with local authorities.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Netflix, H&M and Oracle have cut or paused business in Russia. Shell and Boeing have also cut ties or stopped sales in Russia. In addition, Electronic Arts is removing all Russian teams from its “FIFA22” soccer game and “NHL22” hockey game.



Mercedes-Benz Group on Wednesday said it would suspend exports of passenger cars and vans to Russia as well as local manufacturing. That move follows similar measures from Ford and BMW, along with more automakers taking steps to support Ukraine, as reported by Marketing Daily’s Tanya Gazdik.

General Electric has also paused “supporting airlines” in Russia – though it declined to specify exactly “what support it was pausing,” according to Reuters.  

The day before, Boeing suspended maintenance and tech support for Russian airlines while rival Airbus stopped spare part deliveries. Those moves have temporarily hobbled the airline industry in Russia.

Videogame maker Motorsport Games also said the sanctions against Russia could delay the racing game developer’s future titles. A significant part of its development staff is based in Russia.

Nascar Hall of Fame owner Richard Childress is offering to donate 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine, according to USA Today.

The best-known Russian brands in the U.S., including vodka brands Stolichnaya vodka and Smirnoff, are not really Russian. CNN reports that Stoli is only Russian by name. The vodka is actually made in Luxembourg. Smirnoff is owned by British spirits giant Diageo and is made in Illinois. Less than 1% of the vodka consumed in the U.S. is made in Russia, according to data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

Nevertheless, officials in Utah, Ohio and New Hampshire have called on liquor stores to remove Russian-made or Russian-branded products from shelves.

Finally, Connecticut-based soda maker Avery’s Beverages has put out a Putin’s Punch” flavor --“a little more tart than usual,” according to the company’s general manager as quoted in CT Insider. At least 50 cents of the sales of every bottle will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.  "The label, designed by a local artist, depicts Russian President Vladimir Putin getting punched in the face by a boxing glove adorned in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, as well as the hashtag #StandWithUkraine."


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