What is motivating companies to ditch Russia?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
March 16, 2022, 11:25 AM GMT+0

Just a third think businesses are ditching Russia to take a stand against the invasion of Ukraine

Companies across the globe are pulling out of Russia. However, not all are doing so in response to sanctions placed on the country.

While those in the petrochemical and technology fields may be feeling the bite of sanctions, other industries face a similar strain from consumers. Customers and activists alike have taken to social media to pile on the pressure for businesses to cease trading within the Russian Federation. In recent days, boycott hashtags have trended on social media against those who continue to do so.

But as more and more companies halt sales in Russia, do the public think they are doing so as a meaningful gesture against the war, or do they believe the motivation for these brands is more a commercial one?

In fact, Britons tend to think that companies are motivated by public relations or profits. This includes 31% who think these companies are ending operations in Russia to maintain a positive public image and 20% who say they are more interested in dodging future sanctions.

Only a third of Britons (34%) think companies choosing to cease trading in Russia are doing so as a sincere reaction to the war.

Younger Britons tend to be more sceptical. Overall, 55% of those aged 18 to 24 think companies boycotting Russia aren't primarily motivated by making a statement against the war, instead being more interested in their public image (38%) and dodging sanctions (17%). Only one in five (20%) think they are taking an anti-war stance.

Those aged 65 and over are more equally divided. On the one hand, 46% think such companies are motivated to end their operations in Russia for PR or protection from future penalties (22% and 24%). On the other hand, 45% think they are doing so as a statement against the war.

See full results here

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