Global food giants to stop advertising and investing in Russia
Mars, the American manufacturer of confectionery, petcare and food products, stated on Thursday that it will halt all advertising, media activity and investments in Russia in the wake of the military attack on Ukraine. The packaged food maker Mondelez International made a similar announcement on Wednesday night.
“At the outset of the invasion we stopped all social media activity in Russia and Belarus, and we have decided to suspend all advertising in Russia and Belarus. Furthermore, we have suspended new investments in Russia,” a ustatement from Mars CEO Grant F. Reid declared.
“We join the world in supporting the innocent victims of this war and calling for a peaceful resolution immediately,” the company added on their website.
Apart from candy bars and confectionery products such as Bounty, Milky Way and Twix bars, M&Ms and Skittles, Mars also owns Orbit and Wrigley’s chewing gum brands, as well as pet food product brands Pedigree, Royal Canin and Sheba.
Confectionary and snack manufacturer Mondelez International, which owns Alpen Gold, Milka, Picnic and Oreo brands, released a similar statement on Wednesday.
“As a food company, we are scaling back all non-essential activities in Russia while helping maintain continuity of the food supply during the challenging times ahead... We will focus our operation on basic offerings, discontinue all new capital investments and suspend our advertising media spending,” the company’s CEO Dirk Van de Put claimed in an official statement, acknowledging “a highly dynamic and very concerning situation that we will continue to assess and adjust as needed.
A number of international businesses have ceased operations in Russia during the past two weeks over the Russian assault on Ukraine, with McDonald’s, Starbucks, Spotify and OBI most recently joining the list.
Moscow attacked its neighbour in late February, following a seven-year stand off over Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk peace agreements, and Russia's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularise the status of the regions inside the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims that it was planning to retake the republics by force.
The United Nations has issued a resolution, demanding that Moscow “immediately cease its military assault” and withdraw troops from Ukraine, while numerous countries around the world have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia and a select list of its top officials and businessmen.