The Reputational Risks Of Doing Business In Russia
Over the past two weeks, we have seen an unprecedented brand exodus from Russia. International brands that have been present in the country for many years have made the decision to pull out of their operations, as a direct consequence of president Putin’s own decision to invade Ukraine. Big consumer brands including Disney, Spotify, Levi’s, Warner Bros, Adidas, Apple and Netflix pulled out days into the war. Luxury brands such as Chanel, Prada, LVMH and Burberry followed suit. Energy firms Exxon, BP, Shell and Equinor announced they were divesting Russian investments and partnerships, and financial institutions Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and American Express, as well as PwC and KPMG, also ceased operations, at least for the time being. Airbnb not only suspended bookings of its 90,000 rental properties in Russia and Belarus and stopped residents of those countries from making bookings, but also waived fees for hosts and those booking rentals in Ukraine after people from around the world spontaneously began making bookings there with no intention of travelling, as a way of supporting Ukrainian residents.
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