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Red Bull Under Pressure To Break Russia Ties In New Campaign

Red Bull faced the ire of protesters this month, as a massive banner in support of Ukraine was unfurled outside of their HQ.

Red Bull faced the ire of protesters this month, as a massive banner in support of Ukraine was unfurled outside of their headquarters.

The 400m2 banner reads ‘RED BULL GIVES PUTIN WINGS’ and depicts Vladimir Putin riding the brand’s famous bull logo. Protesters adapted the energy drink’s famous slogan to criticise their ongoing activity with Russia. 

This handout provided by the Ukraine Solidarity Project (USP), shows a huge 400 square meter banner depicting Vladimir Putin riding the company’s famous bull logo which campaigners unfurled on November 24, 2022 in Fuschl am See, Austria. The Ukraine Solidarity Project, a network of European and Ukrainian activists, exposes global brands for regressive policies on Putin’s Russia. Companies that continue to trade in Russia pay taxes to the Kremlin and threaten global solidarity in the face of Putin’s aggression. HANDOUT/GETTY IMAGES

Ukraine Solidarity Project (USP) organised the protest in reaction to Red Bull’s decision to continue selling its product in Russian supermarkets. A statement from the group which was released after the protest discussed their issues with Red Bull. 

It read: “The protest was organised (to expose) global brands for regressive policies on Putin’s Russia. Companies that continue to trade in Russia pay taxes to the Kremlin and threaten global solidarity in the face of Putin’s aggression”.

USP announced the protest in a bold tweet which attracted just shy of 30,00 likes.

This is the latest in a line of protests against the brand for its continued sale in Russia, with a message from Nobel Peace Prize winner Oleksandra Matviichuk projected onto Red Bull’s Formula 1 HQ earlier this month.

She said in a recent statement “This is a message to Max Verstappen and all Red Bull athletes,” says Kyiv resident Matviichuk in the projected film. “I know that driving a Formula 1 racing car is dangerous, but for millions of people it’s very dangerous just to be in Ukraine. I am in Kyiv and we, like other Ukrainian cities, are constantly being shelled by Russian rockets.”

Oleksandra Matviichuk appearing on the Red Bull Formula 1 racing headquarters.  Red Bull is under increased pressure to break ties with Russia. HANDOUT

The statement from USP also touched upon its future hopes for Red Bull to cease its activity in Russia. 

It read: “It really matters that Red Bull is still on sale in Russia. It’s one of the world’s biggest brands and its decision to stick with Putin’s Russia is highly significant. 

“Companies that sell their products there are paying taxes to the Kremlin and signaling that they’re comfortable with the illegal invasion of Ukraine. They need to pull out..”

According to research carried out by The Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI) at Yale University, over 1,000 companies have voluntarily announced a withdrawal of sales and activity across Russian soil.

Bundesliga fans protest against the war in Ukraine on March 5th 2022, during a match at the Red Bull Arena. Red Bull is under increased pressure to break ties with Russia. JAN WOITAS/PICTURE ALLIANCE VIA GETTY IMAGES

As things stand, Red Bull has suspended all marketing activities and new investments in Russia, but is still on sale in the country. 

 

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