Associated brands: Sysco, Arrezzio, Baker's Source, Block&Barrel, Buckhead Pride, Butcher's Block, Casa Solana, Citavo, Earth Plus, Fire River Farms, House Recipe, Jade Mountain, Newport Pride , Pica y Salpica, Portico Seafood
'Speedy' for a 7 to 8 Speed Score; 'Boycotter' for a 9 to 10 Degree Score; 'without Attitude' for a 0 in Attitude Score.
Associated brands: Amazon, Mae, Mama Bear, Pinzon, Presto!, Solimo, Wag, alkove, Amazing Baby, Amfit Nutrition, Arabella, Arthur Harvey, Basic Care, BELEI, Buttoned Down, Cable Stitch, Coastal Blue, Comfort Denim Outfitters, Daily Ritual, Ella Moon, Emma Riley, Eono, Fabric.com, Franklin Tailored, Goodthreads, Happy Belly, Haven Outerwear, House & Shields, Inkast Denim, Iris & Lily, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, Life Long, Movian, Myx Store, NuPro, OWN PWR, Peak Performance Nutrition, Peak Velocity, Ravenna Home, Revly, Scout & Ro, Simple Joys by Carter's, Spotted Zebra, Stone & Beam, Tiksounds, Umi, Vedaca, Vedaka
'Laggard' for a 0 to 5 Speed Score; 'Boycotter' for a 9 to 10 Degree Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
This is a company that has prided itself on not getting its hands dirty with Russia, specifically citing its long-standing policy of working with the Russian market from the outside. Given this pre-invasion distancing policy, it is surprising it took the company so long to make its move. Peers in online businesses moved earlier (Meta on 25 February and Alphabet on 4 March). For this delay, Amazon's Speed Score suffered a Chicken Penalty of 2. It also suffered a Pressure Penalty of 2 for moving after it received a letter from the Ukrainian government asking it to cut off the AWS Cloud Services in Russia. Also, the wording of Amazon's statement (referring to historical policies and not ascribing its "horror" to the perpetrator) puts it in the Mealy-Mouther category. If it has never wanted to associate with the Russian government, why can't it admonish the invasion properly?
Meanwhile, it made a big deal of the contributions to Ukraine, but as a percentage of its profits these are de minimis. For all these reasons, this without-excuse company could have got a rating of 100 instead of 62. What's really important, however, is that Amazon did the right thing and delivered impact. Our calculations show an Exposure level of only 1, partly on account of the sheer size of Amazon, in contrast to a Power level of 10. This meant the company was looking at a morally/commercially irresistible Return on Sacrifice opportunity of 1,000%. Amazon made the right decision even if it was a no-brainer.
Associated brands: BP, Amoco, Ampm, Aral, Castrol
'Speedy' for a 7 to 8 Speed Score; 'Faint-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score; 'Seriously exposed' for a 4 to 10 Exposure Score; 'with great Attitude' for a 6 to 10 in Attitude Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
Associated brands: CK Hutchison Holdings, Hutch, Kruidvat, Metro Broadcast Corporation, ParknShop, Savers, The Perfume Shop, Three, ICI Paric XL, Mr. Juicy, Superdrug , Watsons, Watsons Water, Watsons's Wine
'Laggard' for a 0 to 5 Speed Score; 'Faint-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score; 'without Attitude' for a 0 in Attitude Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
Associated brands: Microsoft, Bing, LinkedIn, MSN, Skype, Edge, Office
'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.
At the time of the invasion, it had numerous Activities in Russia, such as product sales, innovation centers, software development and technology centers. In its earliest statement (28 February 2022) it said it was "protecting Ukraine from cyberattacks", "state-sponsored disinformation campaigns" and providing "support for humanitarian assistance".
On 4 March, the company released an Announcement that it would "suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia". It condemned the "unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia." Several days later, according to Reuters, CEO Brad Smith wrote to the Ukrainian government saying, Microsoft "would continue doing business in the country with non-sanctioned clients, including schools and hospitals", adding that "Depriving these institutions of software updates and services could put at risk the health and safety of innocent civilians, including children and the elderly".
In late March, the company announced a $35m commitment to help Ukraine. On a 26 April conference call, CFO Amy Hood said revenue generated in Russia represents less than 1% of total company revenue and "we expect that it will decline significantly", adding Microsoft would suffer an impact on earnings per share (EPS) of $0.01.
The 4 March Announcement sounded like no new clients in Russia would be able to get Microsoft's services ("suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia"). Zelensky then posted on Twitter calling for further actions from Microsoft. Reuters reported worrying words from Microsoft in reply, that the company "would continue doing business in the country with non-sanctioned clients, including schools and hospitals". Does that mean Microsoft feels free to service any existing client, or perhaps also a new one, if it is not sanctioned, and that schools and hospital are just examples? Either way, if the report is true, the company showed itself to be a Confused Humanitarian by making these exclusions. Putin isn't going to relinquish his power unless Russian people want him to, so we sadly need to exert pressure on the whole economy.
This is a case of us thinking we were getting more than we got. In addition to some continuing services, the Announcement didn't report whether Microsoft's in-country operations will be closed. For all these reasons, it got a low Degree Score. On Speed, Microsoft was a Chicken because it followed HP, Apple, Dell Technologies, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and SAP. The silver lining was its Denouncer statement against Russia. You can hardly ask for better words such as "unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia," which together with a moderate level of financial support to Ukraine, worth 0.1% of profits, got the company 6.5 points in Attitude.
Associated brands: Alphabet, Calico, DoubleClick, Fitbit, Google, Looker, Loon, Nest, Verily, Waymo LLC, Waze, YouTube
'Boycotter' for a 9 to 10 Degree Score; 'with great Attitude' for a 6 to 10 in Attitude Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
The contrast between Alphabet's Google and Meta's Facebook is brought alive by our rating rules being imposed on both of their stories. Both companies look like they are doing a lot, but Alphabet comes out as the clear moral winner. Both companies quickly decided to cut advertising from Russian state media. Meta basically left it at that. Alphabet, however, had within five days announced it would cut all Russian advertising.
Rated on the basis of its deeper withdrawal, Alphabet got a lower Speed score including a Chicken Penalty (it was slower than Meta also for the initial move against Russian state-controlled media). However, we consider Alphabet's withdrawal Full & Complete with a 10 score for Degree, compared to Meta's score of just 2. Also, Alphabet was a Denouncer of Russia, having the gut to use the word "invasion" which the Russian government hates, compared to Meta's Mealy-Mouther statement. At the end of the day, Google isn't making money from Russian advertising and isn't helping the Russian economy as a result.
Alphabet has an extreme Power level, just as Meta had, because of both economic power by being able to disconnect a major advertising medium from Russian companies, but also because of the Ostracizing effect of being able to let tens of millions of Russians know that a Russian company is persona non grata, for which we gave both companies 10 in Power. However, doing the right thing was less expensive for Alphabet than Meta, which may explain why Meta has failed to do so. Alphabet's Russian revenues were 0.4% versus 1.8% for Meta. This de minimus Exposure of Alphabet put it in the enviable position of looking at a 1,000% Return on Sacrifice opportunity. Either this moral-commercial trade-off was irresistible to Alphabet, or it simply never contemplated its own small Sacrifice and just chose to do the right thing.
Associated brands: TJX, HomeGoods, HomeSense, Marshalls, Sierra, TK Maxx
'Sprinting' for a 9 to 10 Speed Score; 'Half-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score.
Associated brands: COFCO, Fortune, Greatwall, Chateau de Viaud, China Tea, Jiugui, Joy City, Joycome, Kong Yiji, Mengniu Dairy
'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: Bosch Group, AutoCrew, Balay, Coldex, Constructa, Dremel, Dynacord, Electro-Voice, ETAS, Gaggenau, HC Cargo, Home Connect, ITK Engineering, Junkers, Neff, Pitsos, Profilo, Robinair, Telex, Thermador, Zexel
'Laggard' for a 0 to 5 Speed Score; 'Faint-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score; 'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
Associated brands: Meta (formerly Facebook), Instagram, Messenger, Oculus, WhatsApp, Diem, Facebook, Mapillary
'Sprinting' for a 9 to 10 Speed Score; 'Faint-hearted' for a 1 to 4 Degree Score; 'Seriously exposed' for a 4 to 10 Exposure Score;'with Power' for a 4 to 10 in Power Score.
Has Meta behaved well? If we consider that it acted one day after the invasion, that it pulled state-run media company ads on Facebook, took down anti-Ukrainian activities on its platform, and that Russia retaliated by finding Meta guilty of extremist activity in a Moscow court, it looks like a perfect picture.
However, when we look deeper, we see a different picture. First, the Announcement didn't carry a leadership level denouncement of Russia, making Meta a Mealy-Mouther. But the real failing is that the company continues to offer a major online advertising platform to most companies in Russia. This is of value to the Russian economy or it wouldn't be using the platform. Meta is right that it has a moral duty to allow Russian people to use its media to avoid government censorship and propaganda by obtaining information and communicating with each other freely. But it doesn't need to run advertising at the same time. It could easily be an ad-free environment. That way, Meta could help democracy by undermining censorship and propaganda, while also undermining the economy.
Since Meta, unlike Alphabet's Google, is lining its pockets in this way, we have given it 2 points in Degree for its state-media advertising ban. It gets 10 out of 10 on Speed, by making its move a week before Alphabet and ten days before Amazon.
Since 1.8% of its revenues come from Russia, we gave it an Exposure level of 3.5. Its Power is extreme, from a combination of economic and psychological factors. Imagine the impact on tens of millions of Russians seeing empty ads on the platform in protest, or even better a statement saying that Meta refuses to make money from Russia at this time but continues service as a censorship-free medium for the public good.
It is disappointing and ironic that the company that has made money in the past from selling ads to Russian-controlled and Russian-sympathetic parties trying to influence voters in Western democracies – including for a US presidential election and the Brexit referendum – didn't have the morality to do something to help democracy when it had the chance.
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.
Also, be aware that brands carry the rating information of the company that owns, controls or is associated with them as defined more precisely in Brands Displayed.
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