Horizon Finds Nearly Half Of Americans Expect Brands To Condemn Russia, Support Ukraine

Nearly half of American consumers say they will only support brands that explicitly condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to research released late Thursday by Horizon Media.

The study, which was fielded March 3-7, reaffirms a growing sentiment among consumers that the brands they support must take active steps to make the world a better place.

While many of those prior studies have been fielded in response to climate change, social injustice, public health related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and various attacks on democracy, Horizon's is likely one of the first to explicitly ask consumers about brand activism related to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

"Forty-nine percent believe that brands taking a stance is not enough," the report asserts, adding that "they have to have an obligation to act."

The finding comes as many major brands doing business in Russia have already stopped marketing in Russia, and as Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to "privatize" the facilities of American corporations in Russia.



Horizon's study also found that a majority (60%) of American consumers feel brands need to communicate publicly about what they are doing in response to the Ukraine crisis, and that they expect brand marketers to donate supplies (81%) or money (77%) to humanitarian causes helping Ukrainians.

While the report doesn't explicitly address how American consumers would respond to brands that do not take proactive steps condemning Russia and supporting Ukraine, it does note that "calls for boycotts of brands" are mounting.

"Boycott conversations have coalesced around removing Russian products as well as boycotting brands that have not yet divested," Horizon's analysts note, "showing brands that the time to act is now."

Iconic American brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald's already have discontinued operations in Russia.

While 46% is the average for all marketing categories, consumers told Horizon they expect to take action. Explicit expectations vary by type of marketer (see data below).

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