Pepsi Forbids Mentioning Ukraine in Its Ads To Avoid Angering Russian Market

( – The Russian war on Ukraine has almost reached the two-year mark. While many companies have stopped doing business with the aggressive, authoritarian nation, not all of them have. Pepsi is in the latter category, and one of its policies proves it.

In the fall of 2023, PepsiCo Corporation was reportedly looking for an advertising agency in Ukraine, according to Forbes. There were several requirements the company laid out for its marketing that are now making headlines. The American company reportedly stated the ads could not mention support for Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces, or the Russian war.

The requirements were reported by B4Ukraine, an organization that tracks international corporations in Russia. PepsiCo was reportedly concerned that supporting Ukraine’s effort to remain a sovereign state would anger Russia and hurt its business. At the same time, the company wanted to start advertising in Ukraine. Its profits are about 10 times higher in Russia than in Ukraine.

PepsiCo has been in Russia since the 1970s and is the fourth-largest food and beverage company in the nation. It doesn’t just ship its products there from the US or Europe, it has 19 plants, 40,000 agricultural workers, and 20,000 employees there. In 2023, the company’s net profits increased 333% to $525 million. Further, it paid more than $115 million in taxes to the government.

The report is a direct contradiction to what PepsiCo has publicly stated in the past. In April 2022, the company released a statement saying it watched the war “unfold with horror and heartache.” The company had more than 3,000 associates in Ukraine at the start of the war, which paled in comparison to the number of employees in Russia.

The company claimed to have acted quickly to “make sure [their] Ukrainian associates were safe.” Pepsico also said it was supporting “humanitarian needs” by organizing a supply chain, donating food and drinks, and other things.

The directive last year seems to demonstrate the company was much more concerned about Russia.

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