But Madison Avenue was also temperamental in some ways. Businesses have faced conflicting advice for suspend marketing campaigns out of respect for Ukraine, but also for express your support from the country. The leaders were forced to suspend their advertising campaigns and instead offer their marketing budgets to aid organizations (although warnings have been circulating on social media of scammers claiming to collect donations for relief efforts).
The Russian-Ukrainian War and the World Economy
Wall-to-wall news coverage showing the smoking rubble of residential buildings and newborns in intensive care in a makeshift bomb shelter reignited familiar fears for companies that had worried during the pandemic about how their advertising would be perceived alongside tragic news events.
Less than a week after Russia’s first attack, several ads had come under fire, including an Applebee ad that appeared in the middle of a CNN broadcast about air raid sirens in Kiev.
‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ star and beauty brand executive Kylie Jenner was accused of being ‘deaf’ when she posted an instagram story offering his “thoughts and prayers” to Ukrainians and followed it up two hours later with a post promoting a lip gloss product.
The Aggregator Show, a New Jersey event for Amazon sellers, said it fired a worker who announced the rally in write in a LinkedIn post that “while Russia is taking over Ukraine, we are taking over Amazon’s event industry”. The message ended with a taunt: “Whoever can’t stand it, take cover.”
“It’s not who we are or what we are,” the company said in a statement about the post.
Afraid of falling into a similar scenario, some companies have started blocking their ads from appearing alongside media coverage of the Ukraine crisis, brand safety experts said. The precautions echo a rush in 2020 to avoid stories containing words such as “coronavirus” and “pandemic”, although concerns about publishers being deprived of critical advertising revenue have prompted many companies to evolve their strategies for blockage.
“To put it into perspective, this is a real crisis situation that is life or death for many people,” said Jason Lee, senior vice president of digital and data strategy for Horizon. Media. “What we do in the world of advertising and media is very important, but we also have to be aware of this wider conflict that is happening, and so it comes back to the question: could a brand be part of the conversation, and should she?”