Some announcements of support for Ukraine seem more like corporate rhetoric.
In my column, earlier in the week Dipsology Beyond The Basics,In my last post, I explained how Russian vodkas are being removed from the market. This is an admirable move and one that was probably motivated more by morality than to try to inflict punishment on Vladamir Poutine, but it also signals that we are moving closer to self-indulgence than to selfless actions. Numerous announcements have been made in the aftermath that feel less like support of freedom than trying to obtain free advertising.
American corporations have taken steps to squeeze the Russian government. With his Starlink connection, Elon Musk opened the Internet to Ukrainians overnight. Numerous banks in Russia have blocked access to funds that are stored abroad. ApplePay, GooglePay also suspended service within Ukraine. These actions are grave and will severely hinder Russia.
The reality of life in Russia as Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war takes affect on the streets: A queue snakes for the ATM in a glitzy Moscow shopping mall with the middle class starting to feel pain of sanctions, writes OWEN MATTHEWS https://t.co/kNxhDS6MVX pic.twitter.com/KOrq0gfw7G
— Tande (@tanndde) March 2, 2022
But, I must question its significance. Air BnB AnnouncementIt would stop operations in Russia. I’m dubious that making it harder to reserve a townhome in Sochi will have Putin coming to his senses. New York Metropolitan Opera said that Russian singer Anna Netrebko would no longer be permitted, even though she opposed the invasion. This will ensure that the invasion is curtailed.
Some media decisions were very logical. Direct TV has removed propaganda outlets Russia TodayIts channel list, which has also seen similar moves have led to it announcing its closure. It is less important to hear the extravagant elites attend Cannes Film FestivalYou won’t feel uncomfortable as Russians are not allowed to enter the country. The following their example, The Glasgow Film FestivalTwo Russian movies have been removed from the schedule. And in a severe blow, Warner Brothers has now pulled back from releasing its new blockbuster “The Batman” from Russian theaters.
Marshals and TJ Maxx, discount retailers, have been purchased It had to be divested from its ownershipA similar store chain in Russia. However, it is not closing any stores. It just sold its shares in that business. The question is still open as to whether anyone notices. Canada Goose clothing chain Commerce will be suspendedRussian interests. The chain store also donates $100,000 to UN.
Another fashion retailer, Mango, declared it was closing its stores in Russia – sort of. Although the company has 120 shops in Russia, more than half are franchises. They will still be open. Perhaps it would have been more prudent to not reveal anything.
In half-empty Moscow shopping mall, talk of Ukraine sanctions and oil prices http://t.co/Og619zIVRf pic.twitter.com/y7MOascsi3
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) April 10, 2015
Carlsberg is another European brewery. It appears that the company is in conflict with its shareholders or being pressured by competing concerns. The beer manufacturer is opting for the opposite. It has shut down three Ukrainian breweries out of concern for its workers’ safety, but is maintaining five in Russia as it feels that supporting employees in a dissolved economy is vital.
The current round of announcements is a bizarre position for companies. They must make the right statements on the Ukrainian crisis. You can be seen to support the invasion if you don’t say it correctly. Are you funding the invasion by not taking action to stop Russian commerce? Companies face a difficult decision and need to tread carefully when communicating with Russian companies.
What point does it become acceptable to take a stand but signal for promotional purposes? These are the same Green Washing tactics we’ve seen in the past, where false claims about the environment have been made to enhance a company image. The Black Lives Matter protests also revealed a similar problem. It was not just a commitment by companies to support POC advocacy; it also became an acknowledgement of the lack of similar action in the past. It could have been interpreted as admitting that they hadn’t been hiring minorities to management posts, by example.
As companies brag about their plans to suspend operations and divest from Russia, it is important to mention that this was done because there was an initial willingness to trade in a risky market. This Putin action isn’t surprising at all. Netflix has decided to suspend all dramaturgical projects in Moscow, which I believe will alleviate the situation in Kyiv.