IPA research reveals consumer support of brand response to Ukraine invasion

The research was carried out from 18-22 March 2022.

Eighty-eight percent of British consumers are in favour of brands taking some action in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is according to a new nationally representative survey of 2000 adults, commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium.

In response to the following question – 'Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in what ways do you think it is appropriate for companies and brands to respond? Please select all that you feel are appropriate' - the most popular ways that consumers want brands to respond are:

  • to stop doing business in Russia (60%)
  • to stop doing business with Russian companies (57%)
  • removing Russian products/services from their offering (52%)
  • offering free goods and services to charities working with Ukraine and refugees (43%)
  • offering refugees job opportunities/sponsorships (38%)

The research also highlights generational differences in the ways consumers wish to see brands respond, with older generations significantly more in favour of taking steps to penalise Russia than younger ones – 81% of over 55s want brands to stop doing business with Russia compared to just 33% of 18-34s.

Other key findings:

  • Thirty percent of consumers want brands to speak publicly about their position on the war. This is most popular among over 55s (36%), followed by 35-54s (29%) and 18-34s (23%).
  • Thirty-four percent of consumers want brands to lessen their dependence on fossil fuels. This is lower among 18-34s (24%) than in older generations (36% for 35-54s and 39% for over 55s).
  • Thirty-one percent of people wish to see brands to help tackle wider disinformation surrounding the conflict. This is much higher in over 55s (42%) than in other age groups (21% for 18-34s and 27% for 35-54s).
  • Twenty-two percent of consumers want to see brands display the brand solidarity logo (or Ukrainian flag) across their marketing materials. This is highest among over 55s (27%) and lowest among 18-34s (16%).
  • Fifteen percent of people want to see brands address the crisis in their advertising/advertising campaigns. This is lower among 18-34s (11%) than in 35-54s (15%) and over 55s (16%).
Download the full report


Additional IPA and industry support:

The IPA is working with the EACA, the VKR (All-Ukrainian Advertising Coalition) and Polish Marketing Communication Association SAR and its learning partner in the Baltics, KOG Institute, to help provide those impacted by the conflict with access to online learning, webinars and publications for free.

The IPA is also supporting the Polish Association’s AdAid.eu platform to help connect Ukrainian advertising professionals with employers from other European countries. 

The IPA is also pleased to highlight the work of Brand Solidarity, which has been formed to bring brands together to express a chorus of support for all the people of Ukraine. If you would like to find out more and get involved, visit the Brand Solidarity website.

The IPA Legal and Public Affairs team has also collated information and relevant resources to assist IPA members in supporting staff affected by the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

Says Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA: "The war in Ukraine is deeply shocking and upsetting. But it is hard to know how we, and the brands our agencies work with, can or should respond in the most helpful and genuine way. This survey, therefore, provides a useful snapshot of the response that consumers are looking to brands to provide and some interesting findings regarding the difference in strength of sentiment between the generations."

At an IPA level, we hope that our small offer of free IPA learning for Ukrainian nationals and our support of wider industry initiatives may provide some help to those enduring the toughest of times.

 For more on how the UK advertising industry can support those impacted by the war in Ukraine, visit the AA’s Ukraine Hub.

Last updated 01 May 2024