IPG Suspends Operations In Russia

Interpublic Group has suspended operations in Russia, it confirmed today, following WPP’s March 4 decision to discontinue its operations in the country.

Interpublic posted a memo from CEO Philippe Krakowsky on LinkedIn, explaining its decision.

“The issue we’ve therefore been wrestling with is how to reconcile the fact that discontinuing our operations in Russia could mean abandoning our approximately 200 colleagues there, many of whom we’ve been fortunate enough to work with for decades,” Krakowsky wrote.



“As indicated in my initial note when the invasion began, we immediately applied all international sanctions and informed clients in Russia who are prohibited parties that we would no longer continue working with them. Because we have never owned a media business in Russia, we did not have significant concerns that our media buying was either fueling the local economy, or funding media being used by the state.”

Essentially, Krakowsky added, “we hoped that by supporting our colleagues in Russia we could live up to the part of our DNA that values and seeks to protect our people across IPG, yet also live up to the international sanctions against the Russian regime. Had initial ceasefire talks been productive, we could have perhaps managed to do both. But recent and escalating attacks on civilian targets, including hospitals, make it regrettably clear that the trajectory of the conflict is escalating, and the war could well go on for some time.”

Thus, the company decided to suspend operations.

“By having taken the time these past two weeks to plan for this eventuality, we will be able to leave our Russian teams with enough capital on their balance sheet to pay their people for a minimum of six months,” Krakowsky explained. “We will also be engaging with them in the coming weeks, as we cede control of all aspects of management and operations to the local leadership team, in order to ensure continuity for any non-Russian clients who remain active in the market.”

“What we are witnessing in Ukraine is a tragic situation with profound consequences for our collective future,” Krakowsky asserted. “It will re-shape the international order globally, with lasting consequences for Europe, and have a ripple effect on political alignments all the way to Asia. It will also likely reverberate in countries across the globe where political or public figures have in recent years allied themselves with the Russian regime.”

Krakowski also detailed how European colleagues were helping those affiliated with the company in Ukraine over the past several weeks.

“Some of the stories that have emerged these past two weeks are truly remarkable,” he wrote. “We’ve seen IPG people in nearby countries drive to the border to physically assist and provide transportation to individuals and families as they leave Ukraine.”

“Some among us have offered to help refugees get settled as they arrive in a new country, and still others are hosting displaced Ukrainians in their homes. Several of our agencies in Eastern Europe have made the amazing gesture of opening their doors to anyone fleeing the crisis, so that they have a place to work. Our teams are also working on the logistics required for refugees to access housing and medical services. “

“Across IPG, our company has already donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to humanitarian organizations focused on addressing the crisis. Some of our agencies are providing direct monetary support to our affiliates in Ukraine, as well as assistance with IT and other operational needs. For the month of March, IPG is also matching individual gifts from IPG employees to organizations providing assistance to Ukrainians impacted by the war. “



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