NEW YORK (March 4, 2022) — Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the marketing, advertising, and media industries have wasted no time in responding to what has quickly become a global crisis. Some marketers have suspended their Russian operations while companies with offices in Ukraine have taken steps to ensure the welfare and safety of their employees. Others have contributed various forms of humanitarian aid to assist Ukrainian citizens and refugees.
According to a recent informal ANA (Association of National Advertisers) survey taken shortly after the invasion, an estimated 23 percent of the 180 ANA member respondents do business in Russia, and of those, 25 percent have suspended or reduced their media spend in that country. The survey also showed that half of the respondents support providing Ukraine with humanitarian aid, while one-third said they plan to either cease or scale back their operations in Russia. The ANA strongly supports and applauds their actions and those of the greater marketing community to assist with humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and promote peace. The ANA believes that when we come together with one voice for the humans we serve, we truly can make a difference.
The question of what marketers can or should do in response to this crisis is wide-ranging and complex. In the survey our members were asked, “What role should marketing play in a global crisis?” Some of the more salient replies included:
- We have a responsibility to be mindful of our activities during times of crisis. If we are connected to consumers and culture, we need to be thinking through the context within which our messages are received. Marketing also has a responsibility to be a force for good in these times.
- Help shape the narrative and ensure that media channels are being used appropriately.
- Whenever possible provide transparency and reliable information.
- Be transparent and aware about funding and the supply chain connected to the crisis. Also, be aware of how consumers and society are being affected and perceiving the crisis.
- Use marketing to deliver real consumer engagement opportunities that give people a voice and a way to help.
Since the outset of the invasion, we have seen numerous companies and brands throughout the world stand up and speak out as a collective force for good. Consumers today expect nothing less. Brands now are viewed as social and political players with the megaphone and reach to give people a voice. As such, they are trusted to act on their convictions authentically and relentlessly as brands for humans. In challenging times like these, marketing plays an especially critical role in demonstrating a company’s purpose and values and connecting with customers in a human-centric way.
The ANA urges all its members, both those doing business in Russia and those which are not, to support the sanctions being imposed by the U.S. and other nations against Russia. We also ask them to seriously consider taking proactive steps to demonstrate that their companies and brands are part of the global effort to end the crisis in Ukraine.
ABOUT THE ANA
The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.
Director of Communications