• Sat. May 14th, 2022

Brands and agencies on alert to support staff in Ukraine

ByJulie J. Helfer

Feb 25, 2022

International brands and agencies rushed to support their businesses and staff in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

Many brands shut down all or part of their business when Russian forces entered Ukraine on Thursday February 24 and the situation has rapidly worsened since then.

Nestlé, which has about 5,000 workers in Ukraine, has temporarily closed three factories in the region, according to Bloomberg.

AB InBev Efes, a regional joint venture backed by AB InBev, which has 3,000 employees in Ukraine, has halted sales and production.

Carlsberg, which has around 1,300 workers, closed the operations of two breweries.

Other companies, including Mondelez and Philip Morris International, which have significant operations in and around Ukraine, said they were monitoring the situation closely, according to Reuters.

Many large global agency groups, including Publicis, WPP and Havas, have staff in Ukraine.

Publicis Groupe has approximately 350 employees in Ukraine. Arthur Sadoun, the chief executive, told staff in an overall memo that the company was closely involved.

“As the situation in Ukraine escalates, many of you around the world have expressed deep concern for your teammates there and asked what is being done to help them at this incredibly difficult time,” Sadoun said. .

“Over the past few weeks, the Group has been following the events very closely, putting the safety and well-being of our employees and their families at the forefront through a number of concrete actions.

“These include emergency training, safety alert systems, information hotlines and dedicated support teams, as well as financial assistance. We continue to strengthen these efforts and to adapt in real time to events unfolding in Ukraine, to provide our teams with the support and resources they need.

“We remain very close to the whole Publicis Ukraine community, and with their local and Group leaders,” he said, adding that he planned to chair “a round table for all” in the week to come (starting Feb. 28) “to tune in, give them the latest updates we have, and respond to their questions or comments.”

WPP has 200 people in Ukraine, working for Wunderman Thompson, Ogilvy, VMLY&R, Group M and Hill & Knowlton.

Mark Read, WPP’s chief executive, said: ‘We have made contingency plans and helped people with financial support and the ability to move if they wish, and other forms of assistance, including including by advancing them additional financial resources. It’s safe to say that people there are shocked by what happened. »

Havas said it is also working closely with its staff and affiliated agencies in Ukraine. “They are our main concern and we will stay in close contact with them over the next few days, offering them all the support they need and making other arrangements if needed,” a doorman said. word of Havas.

“Given the rapidly evolving situation, we will monitor it closely and remain ready to act if necessary, to ensure the safety of our colleagues and friends.”