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US consumers overwhelmingly support businesses cutting ties with Russia

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US consumers overwhelmingly support businesses cutting ties with Russia


If Starbucks, McDonalds and Coca-Cola have any doubts about yesterday’s decision to end their operations in Russia, a new Gartner survey should put their minds at ease. It found 60% of Americans don’t want companies doing business there.

The survey also contains important guidance for marketers about responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While 31% of respondents said businesses should donate to relief organizations, only 13% want companies to make a public statement about it. This is in stark contrast to other recent crises, like the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. or civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, when consumers were more likely to view brand messages as essential actions.


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Researcher Kate Muhl, VP Analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice stresses this is not a time to be touting any charitable donations your company is doing. “The small number of consumers who do want brands to talk about the war are looking for messages of support for Ukraine and its people, and peace in general. Again, at this time, they’re not particularly interested in hearing about what helpful actions companies have elected to take.”

Why we care: People around the world are responding to the horrors of the war in Ukraine with a heartening outpouring of support and sympathy. It is important and laudable that businesses have taken direct action to cut off the Russian economy. Marketing missteps will draw plenty of unwanted attention to the company and away from the real tragedy.


About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.



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