Global: How should brands respond to the Ukraine/Russia conflict?
June 8th, 2022, Christien Pheby

Global: How should brands respond to the Ukraine/Russia conflict?

YouGov data shows that, across 17 international markets, the public are far more likely to expect brands to issue a public response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine than not to do so. Our data shows that more than half (55%) say companies should speak out compared to just a fifth (19%) who would prefer them to remain quiet.

Country by country, there is a high level of variety here: in Indonesia, for example, the public are evenly split (29% support a public response; 28% are opposed), and in France, support is far from overwhelming (39% vs. 30%). On the more enthusiastic end of the scale, Sweden – whose NATO accession is fiercely opposed by Russia – is the most supportive nation in our study (72%), with Poland (71%), Britain (69%), and Spain (68%) very close behind.

As for the preferred response, it seems talk is cheap. While simply issuing statements in support of Ukraine is supported by a majority of consumers globally (55%), it’s not the preferred course of action. Instead, seven in ten (71%) across all markets say they want to see money and supplies donated to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, with just one in ten (10%) opposed. The next most favoured course of action is a brand boycott: three in five (58%) say they want companies to do as McDonalds, Netflix, Disney, and other major brands have done and cease doing business in Russia, with just a fifth (19%) taking the opposite view. A similar proportion want companies to donate money/supplies to the Ukrainian army (53% vs. 21%).

Whatever the eventual action, most of the public across these 17 markets want brands to speak out on the unfolding crisis, rather than staying silent.

The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying. All interviews were conducted online in April 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.

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