Associated brands: China Mobile Communications, CMHK, CMLink, GoTone
'Shameless' for continued involvement with Russia;'without having to make a sacrifice' for a 3 to below Exposure Score;'failing to use its Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
Associated brands: Cover-More, Farmers Insurance Group, Hambro Life Assurance Plc
'Laggard' for a 0 to 5 Speed Score; 'Half-hearted' for a 5 to 6 Degree Score.
Zurich is proof that slow and steady wins the race. Zurich took its sweet time, accruing Chicken and Pressure Penalties in the interim, landing it a Speed Score of 0. It may have been a tortoise compared to peers such as Generali, which acted two months earlier, but it ran a lot further than the other insurers, all of which seem to be snoozing before the finishing line. Confirming that it has found the counterparty for its divestment in the form of local management is good progress, but of course Zurich needs to confirm the sale has actually been completed. Once done, it will have avoided the mistake of making a Circular Exit to another foreign company and simply filling Zurich’s shoes.
Divesting from Russia can be very difficult. But this didn’t stop Zurich, which is in the process of selling its Russian business to local management. It made a textbook Denouncer statement against Russia, and it's refreshing to see a company’s words and actions pointing in the same direction. Zurich is thinking a lot better than Allianz, which is keeping a 49.9% stake in its Russian business.
The race goes not to the swift, but to those who do not cut corners. We’ll give Zurich a medal for breaking ranks with the Swiss companies behaving like their nationality gives them the right to be neutral to whatever is going on in the world. Other Swiss groups, like Nestlé, have dug their heels in during the race out of Russia.
Associated brands: Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno, Listerine, Neutrogena, OGX, Tylenol, Zarbee's, Acuvue, BAND-AID, Benadryl, Calpol, Clean & Clear, Codral, Dabao, Desitin, Doktor Mom, Dolormin, Dr.Ci:Labo, Exuviance, Frenadol, Imodium, Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, Le Petit Marseillais, Lubriderm, Motrin, Neosporin, Nicorette, O.B., ORSL, Penaten, Pepcid, Piz Buin, Polysporin, Regaine, Rogaine, Stayfree, Sudafed, TearScience, Tecnis, Visine
'Laggard' for a 0 to 5 Speed Score; 'Faint-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score; 'with great Attitude' for a 6 to 10 in Attitude Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
On 4 March, J&J said, "we believe access to healthcare is fundamental" and said it was "committed to providing access to our essential medical products in the countries where we operate, in compliance with current international sanctions." It added, "Johnson & Johnson comes together with the world in support of Ukraine. We are deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict, and we stand with all the innocent people affected."
In its Announcement on 29 March, it said it had "suspended supply" of personal care products in Russia and doubled its humanitarian support to $10 million. In addition to these measures, it suspended "any additional investment in Russia".
This is a murky picture of many Shades of Red, made murkier by the difference between personal care and other products. It is difficult to assess how much J&J has withdrawn from Russia. Leaving aside the 4 March statement – when it showed itself to be a Confused Humanitarian instead of making any concrete withdrawal statement – it eventually grasped the nettle.
On 29 March, the company referred to what it had already done "in early March". We call this a Retroactive. The Announcement claimed it had "suspended all advertising, enrolment in clinical trials, and any additional investment in Russia". We consider the last point a Red Herring. Which Western company would seriously make an investment in Russia in the foreseeable future? The company also said it would cut the sale of personal care products.
All of this sounds like progress. Stopping advertising may not be significant if the salesforce and supporting personnel of over 1,000 in the CIS continue. Not starting new clinical trials equally may not be important if the multi-year existing trials continue in Russia and J&J can start new ones in any other country. Moreover, ceasing personal care exports may be a tiny fraction of Russian revenues for J&J. Finally, we didn't see any mention of the J&J Institute in Russia which looks like an important sales-supporting organization. In short, this is a fairly paltry action when looking at the scale of J&J involvement in the Russian market. Without disclosure of the relative proportions of what is continuing and what is stopped, we estimated it at a 10% withdrawal with 1 point for Degree.
J&J's Speed was also disappointing. It was last among a long list of companies for which we logged Announcements before 29 March: Merck, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AbbVie, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Sanofi, and Gilead Sciences. For its position, we gave J&J a Chicken Penalty.
The silver lining in this too-little-too-late behavior was that we were able to credit the company with being a Denouncer for use of the words “in support of Ukraine". These words are not spoken lightly by any company that wants to get back into the Russian market.
But even silver linings can be clouded over. While the financial assistance to Ukraine, disclosed on 4 March, was welcome, it looked hypocritical compared to the company making no disclosure about stopping personal care sales and waiting three weeks to do that. How can you be profiting from trading with and supporting the economy of one country while you are spending some of your profits supporting its victims, while you have also admonished the perpetrator? For being embroiled in this Immoral Vicious Cycle, we classified J&J as a Do-gooder-do-badder. And, for having said more than it did, it is a Big Talker. Our message is: don't try to be too clever, just do the right thing from the start.
Associated brands: Procter & Gamble, Always, Ambi Pur, Ariel, Aussie, Bold, Braun, Clearblue, Daz, Fairy, Fairy Non Bio, Febreze, Fixodent, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Lenor, Olay, Old Spice, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene, Seven Seas, SK-II, Tampax, Venus, Viakal, Vicks, Align, All Good, Bonux, Bounce, Bounty, Cascade, Charlie Banana, Charmin, Cheer, Crest , Downy, Dreft, Flash, Gain , Ivory, joy+glee, This is L., Luvs, Metamucil, Microban 24, Mif, Mr.Clean, My black is beautiful, Nasivin, Native, Neurobion, New Chapter dietary supplements, Pepto-Bismol, Puffs, Rindex 3en1, Safeguard, Salvo, Sangobion, Scope, Snowberry, Swiffer, The Art of Shaving, UltraDowny, Zevo
'Speedy' for a 7 to 8 Speed Score; 'Faint-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
The company discontinued "new capital investments" in Russia, and suspended media, advertising, and promotion. It reduced its Russian activities "significantly" to "focus" on providing "basic health, hygiene and personal care items" needed by Russians who "depend on them", as per its 7 March Announcement.
The company condemned aggression "in any circumstance" and said its hearts go out to "all people who endure the unspeakable toll of war". It said it would support its employees in Russia.
The entire website and our rating methodology are based on a company’s involvement with Russia being measured by Announcements.
We measure this against the ways a company can be involved with Russia through its Activities.
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