Global power-brands suspend Russian ops

global power-brands

Multiple global power-brands, including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Starbucks and General Electric have suspended trading in Russia within the last 24 hours.

The moves come as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues a relentless and vicious, though often thwarted attack on smaller neighbours Ukraine.

Global power-brands take action

In a brief statement Coca-Cola wrote: “The Coca-Cola Company announced today that it is suspending its business in Russia. 

“Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine.

“We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve.”

Starbucks condemns ‘horrific’ attacks

In a letter to the company’s partners, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote: “We condemn the unprovoked, unjust and horrific attacks on Ukraine by Russia, and our hearts go out to all those affected.

“The invasion and humanitarian impact of this war are devastating and create a ripple effect that is felt throughout the world. 

“I know this is weighing emotionally on so many of you, especially those with family and friends in the region.

“While Starbucks does not have cafés in Ukraine, we do have 130 stores in Russia that are wholly owned and operated by a licensed partner. 

“And I want to express deep care for the livelihoods of our 2,000 green apron partners in Russia.

“In times like these, as a company and as partners, we strive to never be a bystander. Partners’ perspectives continue to help inform the actions we will take, which I want to begin sharing with you all today.

First, we will donate any royalties we receive from our business operations in Russia to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine. 

“Second, The Starbucks Foundation has contributed $500,000 to World Central Kitchen and the Red Cross for humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine. 

“And third, our EMEA business will continue to work in the market to support people in need through additional financial contributions and service.

As this dynamic situation continues to unfold, we will listen and take additional steps to support all our partners and communities. We will let you know as we have more to share.

I want to thank you all for your deep care and connection to one another and your communities during these challenging times.

Like you, my heart is heavy – and I want you to know that no matter what, we stand together, as partners.

The moves come after sustained campaigns on social media encouraging consumers to boycott some of these global brands while they continued their operations in Russia.

It shows both the power of social media in times of conflict, but also the power of the global brand to act in concert with global events. 

Brand power can be used to take a stand, to call for change and to withdraw operational support, if a dire situation calls for it.

With Russia now more isolated than ever, it now may fall to the Russian public to decide whether it should continue to allow its leader to wage a war that none of them wants.